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Lebanese novelist Alawiya Sobh speaks to Katia al-Tawil about her new novel and exposing religious fundamentalism in the Arab world

“To love life” means to be implicated, involved, to glow, to persevere in the face of illness

Lebanese novelist Alawiya Sobh is known for her deliberate, unhurried approach to publication and her ability to mould her texts and her characters with leisurely composure. In her artfully created novelistic spaces, Sobh fearlessly tackles issues relating to women, women’s bodies and their thoughts in the context of our patriarchal Arab societies. After an eleven-year absence from the limelight, Sobh presents her readers with her fifth work, An Ta'ashaq al-Hayat ( To L o v e Life) a novel in which, armed with art, love and beauty, she exposes the various forms of religious fundamentalism in which our Arab society continues to flounder. Out of the violence of ISIS and Hezbollah has emerged a meaty novel teeming with symbols and

68 BANIPAL 70 – SPRING 2021

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