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Dreams of Trespass, Tales of a Harem Girlhood
by Fatima Mernissi
- 242 PAGES
This gentle memoir captures the hierarchy and decorum of growing up behind the door of a harem, which, as the author explains, is not necessarily a collection of wives, but rather a house in which all the women of a family are secluded. The work is also an engrossing portrait of Fez in the 1940s. Mernissi, a sociologist, brings to vivid and often hilarious detail the exploits of the various women in the house: her mother, fighting against the veil, her grandmother, clinging to tradition, and especially a divorced aunt, who teaches her much about rebellion. Surely the most charming feminist tract ever written. (Mernissi has also written "Beyond the Veil," a scholarly study of relations between the genders in Muslim society, item MDE35.)