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Friday, July 17, 2009
Hanan al-Shaykh on Kensington Gardens
It's a bit wet to enjoy the real thing at the moment, so it's cheering to see the original stories published in pamphlets about London's Royal Parks. It's particularly great to see a story by Hanan al-Shaykh, "A Beauty Parlour for Swans," published in Arabic and English facing-page translation by Christina Phillips with the author. al-Shaykh's previous novel, Only in London, gave a mordantly entertaining insight into the mixed-and-match worlds of the Arab community in London, so her take on Kensington Gardens promises things every bit as magical as Peter Pan.