Review: Fatima Mernissi’s “Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood”

by writereaderly

fatima mernissi dreams of trespassFatima Mernissi, now a sociologist and academic in Rabat, was brought up in a domestic harem (aka extended family under one roof, inc. polygamy) in Fez, Morocco in the 1940s. This memoir recounts the lives and experiences mostly of the women she lived with, and explores the diversity of harems that still existed in Morocco at that time. Simply written but lovely (lovelily?), Mernissi’s stories brim with the hanan or boundless tenderness which she so admires, and give a gently personal introduction to a misunderstood concept. Recommended.

PS After debating with myself and Google images, I have classified this title as part of the Global Women of Colour Challenge. I don’t know if Mernissi would count herself as a woman of colour, though.

Where it came from: CP’s bookshelf
Time and manner of reading:
One determined armchair read
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that:
Who I
d recommend it to: Seekers of a lyrical cultural experience
Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley