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Elle (France): "More than a mere description of Arabs’ sexual habits, The Proof of the Honey confronts the complexity of male-female relationships in Arab world."

Date: Jun 2 2008

Another erotic novel. Another account of a woman’s sex life. No doubt we’ll be hearing about de Sade, Virginie Despentes, and the others. But no! In The Proof of the Honey, au contraire, the Syrian-born author Salwa Al Neimi is heading for unchartered terrain: sex in the east, the Near East to be precise. More than a mere description of Arabs’ sexual habits, The Proof of the Honey confronts the complexity of male-female relationships in Arab world—the positions, after all, are universal. Intrigues, reminiscences, stories about and references to Arab erotica’s great masters, tales of love told to the protagonist by Lebanese, Tunisian, and Syrian women—all these elements mix together gracefully and tell the story of women’s sensual and sexual journeys. Like the young lovelorn women who end up marrying a man chosen by their parents. Like the wives who learn how to extract promises from their husbands while in bed. “No sex in Islamic society?” muses the protagonist. Far from it! This energetic and sophisticated book is proof to the contrary.

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