Challenging stereotypes of Arab women, The Occasional Virgin features two vividly realised, feisty female characters and fearlessly addresses questions of sexuality, Islam and identitySexy, fresh and funny, with a unique take on the modern Arab female experience, Hanan Al-Shaykh's widely acclaimed and much-loved work has been translated into over 28 languagesThe Occasional Virgin will apeal to fans of The Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Al-Sanea (18,000 TCM) and Crazy Rich Asians by KevinKwan (TCM 55,000)Hanan Al Shaykh is one of the Arab world's most aclaimed writers. She was born in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut, before going to Cairo to receive her education. She was a successful journalist in Beirut, then later lived in the Arabian gulf, before moving to London. She is the author of the short story collection I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops and her novels include The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues, Only in London, The Locust and the Bird, a memoir of her mother's life, and One Thousand and One Nights, her acclaimed re imagining of Arabic folktales. She has also written two plays, Dark Afternoon and Paper Husband. Her work has been translated into 28 languages. Hanan Al-Shaykh lives in London. Catherine Cobham is a lecturer in Arabic and head of the department of Arabic and Persian at the University of St Andrews. She has translated a number of contemporary authors from Arabic, including Naguib Mahfouz, Mahmoud Darwish, Hanan al-Shaykh, Fuad al-Takarli and Ghayath Almadhoun.Yvonne and Huda have come a long way. Attractive, successful and glamorous, their brilliant ascent has flung them far from Lebanon, and each other. Now it's only on their rarely snatched holidays that the friends can catch up. As they swim, drink and talk by the glittering Italian Riviera, Huda and Yvone ponder just how complicated it is to be free - and the eternal mysteries of love, sex, and getting a guy to call you back. Then, amid the glitz and chatter of London's Mayfair, a chance encounter brings their past rushing back. But Huda has a wicked trick her sleeve.A Net-a-Porter Magazine Top 10 Beach Read; 'bold, witty and highly contemporary . A madcap romantic comedy for our multicutural age' (Woman & Home)Brilliant . Wise, witty and unexpectedly profoundOne of the Arab worlds most important voices . The story of two women looking for love and discovering what they're prepared to do for itHanan Al-Shaykh is a sensation . Captures effortlessly the fearsome frankness with which women can talk to women about sexRomantic and outrageous . Brilliant
Hanan al-Shaykh is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on Arab womanhood. Her works include Women of Sand and Myrrh, The Story of Zahra, Beirut Blues and The Locust and the Bird. Tim Supple is one of the world's leading theatre directors and creators. His widely-acclaimed works include Twelfth Night (Channel 4 film), Tales from Ovid, A Servant to Two Masters (both RSC) and a multi-lingual A Midsummer Night's Dream (Dash Arts/world tour).