Only in London by Hanan Al-Shaykh
A Novel

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Four strangers meet on a turbulent flight from Dubai to London: Amira, a canny Moroccan prostitute; Lamis, a 30-year old Iraqi divorcee; Nicholas, an English expert on Islamic art; and Samir, a Lebanese man who is delivering a monkey on a mission he doesn’t fully understand. Once safely on British soil, Lamis and Nicholas fall in love, Samir chases after blond British youths, and Amira reinvents herself as a princess, the better to lure clients at the best London hotels. Through the city and across cultural borders, Only in London wittily portrays the smells, sounds, and sights of London’s lively Arab neighorhoods, as well as the freedoms the city both offers and withholds from its immigrants.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Hanan Al-Shaykh

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Hanan al-Shaykh, an award-winning journalist, novelist, and playwright, is the author of the short story collection I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops; the novels The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues, and Only in London; and a memoir about her mother, The Locust and the Bird. She was raised in Beirut, educated in Cairo, and lives in London.

Author Residence: London, England

Author Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon
Published December 18, 2007 by Anchor. 292 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Only in London

The Guardian

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Only In London Hanan Al Shayk 288pp, Bloomsbury, £16.99 Love scenes in novels are normally so conventionalised that it's a shock to read one as rich in discovery, misunderstanding and disappointment as the first encounter between Lamis, the heroine of Hanan Al-Shaykh's magnificent new novel, an...

Jun 03 2001 | Read Full Review of Only in London: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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As Lamis negotiates her independence in a country she wants desperately to feel a part of—while also maintaining ties with her adolescent son, who lives with his father—she begins an affair with Nicholas, whose love and urge to shelter her begin to threaten her new sense of self.

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