The Book of Saladin

The Book of Saladin : A Novel

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Tariq Ali's latest novel is a chronicle set in twelfth-century Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem. The Book of Saladin is the fictional memoir of Saladin, the Kurdish liberator of Jerusalem, as dictated to a Jewish scribe, Ibn Yakub. Saladin grants Ibn Yakub permission to talk to his wife and retainers so that he might present a full portrait in the Sultan's memoirs. A series of interconnected stories follows, tales brimming over with warmth, earthy humour and passions in which ideals clash with realities and dreams are confounded by desires. At the heart of the novel is an affecting love affair between the Sultan's favoured wife, Jamila, and the beautiful Halima, a later addition to the harem. The novel charts the rise of Saladin as Sultan of Egypt and Syria and follows him as he prepares, in alliance with his Jewish and Christian subjects, to take Jerusalem back from the Crusaders.

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  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 164.6 x 208.8 x 34mm | 662.26g
  • Verso Books
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • map
  • 1859848346
  • 9781859848340
  • 1,144,506

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""The Book of Saladin" is the second in a quartet of novels by Tariq Ali on the long encounter between Western Christendom and the world of Islam. Grippingly well told, brilliantly paced, remarkably convincing in its historical depiction of a fateful relationship, it is a narrative for our time, haunted by distant events and characters who are closer to us than we had dreamed."--Edward Said"Ali overturns demonising stereotypes of Salah-al-Din, portraying instead the 'barbarian' Western invaders. Whether depicting erotically charged harem intrigue or siege warfare, "The Book of Saladin" is an entertaining feat of revisionist storytelling."--Simon Carnell, "Sunday Times""Ali's new historical novel ... is told in a manner which combines the incantatory storytelling of the great Middle Eastern anthologies with the solidarity of historical research."--Philip Hensher, "Mail on Sunday""Fiercely lyrical. Weaving political intrigue, gay and straight love, betrayal, cross-dressing, rape, assassination and crimes of passion, Ali's tale ripples with implicit parallels to our age."--"Publishers Weekly"

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About Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics--including "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Bush in Babylon," "The Clash of Fundamentalisms" and "The Obama Syndrome"--as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the "New Left Review" and lives in London.

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