When a dead woman is discovered in Abu Al Roos, one of Mecca’s many alleys, no one will claim the body because they are ashamed by her nakedness. As we follow Detective Nassir’s investigation of the case, the secret life of the holy city of Mecca is revealed.
Tackling powerful issues with beautiful and evocative writing, Raja Alem reveals a city—and a civilization—at once beholden to brutal customs, and reckoning (uneasily) with new traditions. Told from a variety of perspectives—including that of Abu Al Roos itself—The Dove’s Necklace is a virtuosic work of literature, and an ambitious portrait of a changing city that deserves our attention.
Praise for Raja Alem:
“Raja Alem’s reputation in contemporary literature [is] similar to Nabokov’s in ours: masterful, erudite, witty, and somewhat dangerous.” —BOMB
Raja Alem was born in Mecca and now lives in Paris. She has received many awards in the Arab world and in Europe for her novels, plays, stories, and other writing. In 2011, she became the first woman to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Learn More
Roman Britain, 366 AD: Minna, a Roman serving girl, loses her beloved grandmother. Desperate to reach her soldier brother, she falls in with Cian, an aloof but charming acrobat. A terrible mistake thrusts the pair into slavery in the wilds of barbarian Scotland, where the Romans wage war with the Picts. Now Cian and Minna must fight for their survival. And despite her loyalties to her Roman origins, Minna struggles against an irresistible call of her blood that binds her inevitably to the people who have enslaved her.
Praise for Jules Watson:
“A richly imagined and action-packed saga . . . Watson's work is as inventive, eloquent and exotic as ever; her fans will relish this rousing conclusion.” —Publishers Weeekly
Jules Watson was born in Australia to English parents. An archeologist and freelance writer, Watson is the author of the critically acclaimed Dalriada Trilogy, which also includes The White Mare and The Dawn Stag. She lives in Scotland with her husband. Learn More
Talmudic in form, sui generis in conception, this novel completes the story of the Tal family, a New York City family in the gem business, begun in Blue and Green. The story is juxtaposed against marvelous images, among them paintings from Mary Cassatt and Vermeer and a collection of photographs, ranging from Bob Dylan, to the Wild West days, to moving works by Roman Vishniac. An extraordinary novel that is at once broad in its outlook and deftly self-referential, White concludes a remarkable family saga.
Praise for Blue:
“Beautiful . . . More than a novel, Blue resembles the mind happily at play, nimbly skipping from knowledge to belief, wish, imagination, dream, rumor, memory, and image.” —Boston Globe
“At once a spiritual challenge and a gorgeous typographical object . . . A collective meditation on character.” —The New York Times Book Review
Benjamin Zucker, a well-known New York gem merchant, was educated at Yale and Harvard Law School, and followed his grandfather and father into the family business. He is the author of Gems and Jewels and the novels Blue and Green. Learn More
Smart, bored, attractive and single, Mattie Brooke is a not quite over-the-hill waitress in the tiny town of Dip, Washington. She’s lived all but one year of her life in Dip, and not much of what goes on there escapes her eye. But then, not much of what goes on in Dip is worth noticing. That is, until a traveling salesman named Tucker Harris drifts into town. Mattie cuts out on her steady guy just long enough for this stranger to introduce her to his bizarre brand of safe sex, and after Tucker splits, Mattie figures to go on with her life the same as before. What begins as sassy complicity in a capricious tryst triggers a subtle and vertiginous slide into hell, with no stops for beer or introspection. Mattie suffers the horrible revelation that there will be no savior capable of rescuing her sanity—let alone her life.
Praise for the work of Jim Nisbet:
"In the tradition of Jim Thompson and Damon Runyon, Nisbet is too good to miss." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Jim Nisbet has a voice so original…it might remind you of a younger Kurt Vonnegut." —Chicago Tribune
Jim Nisbet is the author of twelve novels and five books of poetry. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, shortlisted for the Hammett Prize, and published in ten languages. He lives in San Francisco, California. Learn More
John Harper has just made a discovery: the father he believed to be dead for more than thirty years is alive, though lying in a coma in a Manhattan hospital. Confronted with the reality of his father's existence, Harper finds himself seduced by a lifestyle that he seems to have inherited--an underworld life of power, treachery, and menace. City of Lies is a tense and gripping thriller, each twist and turn more shocking than the last. Learn More