Scheherazade Goes West

      Fatema Mernissi

Scheherazade Goes West

Throughout my childhood, my grandmother Yasmina, who was illiterate and grew up in a harem, repeated that to travel is the best way to learn and to empower yourself. "When a woman decides to use her wings, she takes big risks," she would tell me, but she was convinced that if you didn't use them, it hurt....

So recalls Fatema Mernissi at the outset of her mesmerizing new book. Of all the lessons she learned from her grandmother -- whose home was, after all, a type of prison -- the most central was that the opportunity to cross boundaries was a sacred privilege. Indeed, in journeys both physical and mental, Mernissi has spent virtually all of her life traveling -- determined to "use her wings" and to renounce her gender's alleged legacy of powerlessness.

Bursting with the vitality of Mernissi's personality and of her rich heritage, Scheherazade Goes West reveals the author's unique experiences as a liberated, independent Moroccan woman fa...

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