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Fields of Fig and Olive: Ameera and Other Stories of the Middle East

Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki
ISBN: 978-0-89410-726-9
1991/217 pages

"[Abdul-Baki] has been blessed with the ability to make foreignness familiar.... The author writes that fig and olive are the 'sweet and bitter fruits, eternal Eastern sysmbols of man's destiny, of good and evil.' Sometime in her life, [she] must have distilled the flavors of bitter and sweet. She pours them into her storytelling."—Chicago Sun Times

"The ... stories in this collection offer insights into the cloistered world of Arab women. Abdul-Baki describes life behind the veil, showing how women find means of expressing themselves in severely circumscribed settings.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Abdul-Baki’s skillful and realistic presentation of characters, along with her masterly use of flashback and other narrative techniques, contributes to making her collection one of the most successful of its kind.”—World Literature Today

"Beautifully crafted stories.... Place and character are vividly evoked and the distinct flavor of a different culture well caught in [this] collection.”—Kirkus Reviews


Abdul-Baki’s stories, set in Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, and Jerusalem, explore the themes of young women coming of age, the effects of civil war, and differences between East and West.


Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki has worked as a journalist and features writer, but now devotes her time to writing fiction. She received the Mary Roberts Rinehart award for short fiction for the stories “Nariman” and “Skaithos.” Her novels include Tower of Dreams and Ghost Songs.