• We Wrote in Symbols

We Wrote in Symbols

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It is a little-known secret that Arabic literature has a long tradition of erotic writing. Behind that secret lies another – that many of the writers are women.

We Wrote in Symbols celebrates the works of 75 of these female writers of Arab heritage who articulate love and lust with artistry and skill. Here, a wedding night takes an unexpected turn beneath a canopy of stars; a woman on the run meets her match in a flirtatious encounter at Dubai Airport; and a carnal awakening occurs in a Palestinian refugee camp. From a masked rendezvous in a circus, to meetings in underground bars and unmade beds, there is no such thing as a typical sexual encounter, as this electrifying anthology shows.

Powerfully conveying the complexities and intrigues of desire, We Wrote in Symbols invites you to share these characters’ wildest fantasies and most intimate moments.

"Ground-breaking … the first collection of its kind in English …" - The Washington Post

Information
  • Publisher: Saqi Books 
  • Edited by Selma Dabbagh
  • April 2021, Paperback 320pp
Reviews

‘Fierce, captivating, revolutionary. A dazzling collection.’ - Elif Shafak

‘These voices are furious, witty, outrageous, tender and entranced. This collection offers much delightful entertainment and fresh perspectives on women and sex in the Middle East.’ - Marina Warner

‘An explosive and powerful new collection ... a fantastic, liberating book ... incredibly empowering and life-affirming ... I highly recommend it.’ -  Ayesha Hazarika, Times Radio

‘A fascinating collection … eye-opening in its scope and styles, and rewarding in its daring and novelty … as fun and accessible as it is successful in challenging preconceived notions of sexuality in the literary output of Arab women authors ... a revelation.’ - Erotic Review

‘Ground-breaking … the first collection of its kind in English … What We Wrote in Symbols captures most strongly is the richness and depth of erotic writing in the Arabic literary tradition, and the incredible diversity and range of its female voices. If this eye-opening collection also helps shatter some assumptions about gender and sexuality in the Arab world, it is all the more welcome.’ - Washington Post

Christmas Shipping

Latest recommended order dates for Christmas 2021:

UK: 21st December
USA/Canada: 12th December
Central Europe: 15th December

EU Orders:

We know Brexit has caused uncertainty for our European customers. To lend a hand we are happy to reimburse our customers for any customs duties or taxes paid on orders arriving in Europe placed between the 1st and the 16th of December.

Shipping Terms:

We will aim to dispatch orders within 2-3 working days of purchase date but please be aware that we are a small team and delays can occur. We offer a single flat rate shipping option: tracked shipping with Royal Mail.

* For addresses in the UK, estimate shipping time is 2-3 business days.
* International shipping is available to all destinations. For all addresses outside the UK, estimate shipping time is 5-12 business days.
* ISHKAR is not responsible for customs duties or taxes on EU/international shipments, nor is it responsible for delays associated with the import process.

We offer free shipping for:

UK orders over £200
European orders over £250

Returns

 *Extended returns policy - Orders made from December the 1st can be returned until January the 5th.*

We will be happy to offer a full refund (excluding shipping) on items returned within 14 days of receipt of delivery. 

• Returned items must be unworn, unwashed and undamaged products purchased directly from ISHKAR.com.
• Proof of purchase is required.
• Photography prints are printed to order and are therefore not refundable.
• For defective, damaged or incorrect items, please notify us within five days of delivery in order to receive a refund/exchange.
• Email us at contact@ishkar.com to organise the return.  

Preorders explained

If an item is out of stock you are able to preorder the item, so that you're first in line when it's back. Once you have preordered an item the order should be shipped to you within three months. Often the order will arrive well within this three month period. Contact preorders@ishkar.com for more accurate information on when orders for this product are likely to be ready.

The Story

​Selma Dabbagh

Selma Dabbagh is a British Palestinian writer of fiction whose debut novel Out of It (Bloomsbury) was a Guardian Book of the Year. Dabbagh’s BBC R4 play The Brick was nominated for the Imison Award, and her writing has been published in Granta and Wasafiri, and translated into several languages.

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