Before the Queen Falls Asleep

Kay Heikkinen

*As featured as an editor's pick on Radio Four's OPEN BOOK*

*One of the Guardian's books to look out for in 2024*

"An immersive feminist novel that meshes the personal and political to moving effect" Preti Taneja, Financial Times

"A brilliant novel of the Palestinian diaspora. Funny and gritty, and bursting with life and humour" Ahdaf Soueif, Guardian

Born a girl to parents who expected a boy, Jihad grows up treated like the eldest son, wearing boy's clothing and sharing the financial burden of head of the household with her father.

Now middle-aged, each night Jihad tells her daughter a story from her life. As Maleka prepares to leave home to attend university abroad, her mother revisits the past of their Palestinian family, tenderly describing their life in exile in Kuwait and her own experiences of love and loss as she grows up.

Huzama Habayeb weaves a richly observed and affectionate portrait of a Palestinian family displaced from their homeland, exploring with humour and poise the love and betrayal that pursues Jihad and her family from Kuwait to Jordan to Dubai. This is a novel whose words will resound long after you finish the final page.

Translated from the Arabic by Kay Heikkinen

  • Classification : GENERAL & LITERARY FICTION
  • Pub Date : MAR 28, 2024
  • Imprint : Maclehose Press
  • Page Extent : 288
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9781529415650
  • Price : INR 699

Kay Heikkinen

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