In the Shadow of Islam is an extraordinary evocation of the desert and its people by a woman who dressed as a man in order to travel alone and unimpeded throughout North Africa.
In 1897 Isabelle Eberhardt, aged 20, left an already unconventional life in Geneva for the Moroccan frontier. Gripped by spiritual restlessness and the desire to break free from the confinements of her society she travelled into the desert, and into the heart of Islam. Her experiences inspired a profound self-examination, and today In the Shadow of Islam is regarded as a minor masterpiece of feminist writing and one of the true classics of travel writing. In the current political climate, it is also a book uncannily current in its treatment of the culture of Islam in north Africa.
Translated from the French and with a preface by Sharon Bangert
‘A compelling narrative and an ideal starting point from which to discover more about Isabelle Eberhardt’s picaresque life.’ – Nicola Walker, Times Literary Supplement
‘She [Eberhardt] was the first hippie. She travelled with no money living from day to day; she had no concept that chastity was of any value and was sexually voracious; she was into kif-smoking; and she lived in Morocco dressed as a man.’ – Juliet Stevenson
‘Cultdom can imply a blind suspension of critical faculties, and Isabelle has suffered from that. A hazy image of her as a soul-sick Amazon-of-the-desert has been recycled as each new generation discovers radical desert chic. Yet her writings, and her sheer modernity, stand up to modern scrutiny … Not only have the stories she collected become invaluable oral history for the North Africans, but her perception of Islam as a future, and not a spent, force on the world stage has proved prophetic. In that, as in the rebel-without-a-cause about her, she has proved ahead of her time.’ – Daily Telegraph
ISABELLE EBERHARDT (1877–1904) was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the illegitimate daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest and a part-Russian, part-German aristocrat. She spent much of her short adult life in north Africa, where she converted to Islam. She was killed in a flash flood at the age of twenty-seven.
|Date Published||10th October 2013|
In The Shadow Of Islam
- Product Code: Paperback
- Author: Isabelle Eberhardt