Updated Edition With a New Preface
Lila Abu-Lughod lived with a community of Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt for nearly two years, studying gender relations and the oral lyric poetry through which women and young men express personal feelings. The poems are haunting, the evocation of emotional life vivid. But her analysis also reveals how deeply implicated poetry and sentiment are in the play of power and the maintenance of a system of social hierarchy. What begins as a puzzle about a single poetic genre becomes a reflection on the politics of sentiment and the relationship between ideology and human experience.
Lila Abu-Lughod is Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University. She is the author of Writing Women's Worlds: Bedouin Stories (California, 1993) and editor of Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East (1998).
"A truly extraordinary book--beautifully and modestly written, remarkably insightful, consistently compelling." —Edward Said, author of Out of Place: A Memoir