Al-Tahawy, Miral
Calderbank, Anthony
The American University in Cairo Press

Blue Aubergine tells the story of a young Egyptian woman, born in 1967, growing up in the wake of Egypt's defeat of that year, and maturing into womanhood against the social and political upheavals Egypt experienced during the final decades of the twentieth century. Physically and emotionally scarred by her parents and the events of her childhood, and incapable of relating to men, Nada, the 'Blue Aubergine,' fumbles through a series of dark and unsettling adventures, resorting first to full Islamic dress with niqab and gloves and then throwing it all off for the flowing hair and tight clothes of an emancipated young graduate student, in an ever more desperate and ultimately failed search for tenderness and affection. A frank assessment of the damage society wreaks by foisting unwise claustrophobic values on its children, this richly woven text shifts unpredictably through time and space like a sojourn in dream time.