Love is Like Water and Other Stories
by Samia Serageldin

Syracuse University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-815-60921-6.
Reviewed by Rhonda Esakov
Posted on 08/27/2009

Fiction: Multi-Cultural; Fiction: Historical

With this group of short stories, including the one from the title cover, author Samia Serageldin weaves a complex, interconnected story about a woman trying to find her identity within the backdrop of Islamic/Egyptian history. While detailing modern day living through a variety of well drawn characters and places, the vivid details and narrative exchanges of friends and family are written in such a way as to tell the reader a story that weaves its way through time and place.

Serageldin is an engaging writer and I truly enjoyed her style and professionalism in producing a story. Almost perfect grammar and a smooth, easy-flowing style make this fiction collection a commendable primer in "the right way to write a story." Her insights, both personal and professional, will make you want to read more from this author. A prime example quoted from the book, "How do you achieve closure, that word I still see in quotation marks? You turn the page, you close the book. So many metaphors to remind you that writing can be just that: embalming the past in reams of paper and burying it between two covers. There is a neat finality to the sound of it but the actual process is as painful as plucking stingers out of your flesh."

Although there is closure in the sequence of the stories, you will end your reading experience with hopes that Serageldin produces another such inspired book in this series of Arab American Writings.

Samia Serageldin was born and raised in Egypt, educated in England, and immigrated to the United States. She is the author of an autobiographical first novel, The Cairo House, and an historical novel, The Naqib's Daughter, as well as short fiction and essays on Islam, women, and Arab-American literature. Serageldin divides her time between North Carolina, Egypt and London. For more information about the author and her writings, visit her web site and her blog.

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