Monday, September 29, 2008

The Jewel of Medina

Will it be an Important Book?

Things that happened after Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses have not yet faded from our memories. Violence, murder, Fatwa, round-the clock security cover for the writer outside his house. Fortunately for us, the great writer survived all this, and is still alive and writing.

From all indications, the Rushdie book rerun is going to happen with Sherry Jones' The Jewel of Medina to be released in October this year. The only difference is that while Rushdie's was a literary work, Sherry's is a mass-market pulp.

I just read through the Prologue available on the net. In a typical historical-fiction style, she tries to recreate Prophet's physical relationship with one of his child-brides named Aisha. I had no idea that the prophet had child-brides. What I knew about him was that he married a lady called Khadiza some years senior to him.

I don't know where the writer gets her facts from and whether the sources of her research are authentic. But what I'm more bothered about is the subject of her choice. It's more prurient than blasphemous. And for sure, she does not write it from any sense of any kind of conviction. All talk about women empowerment and freedom in this context are shit. This is out and out a commercial venture. Of course, it's a bestseller that has presold.

Back to my reading. The prologue is a polished and professionally edited piece that is intended to whip your emotions, but actually reads bland and contrived. It might excite morons, but I'd wager that few discerning readers would go past it into the first chapter of the book.

I feel pity for the author. Allah forgive her!

Prologue to The Jewel of Medina

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