An Unnecessary Woman
by : Rabih Alameddine
You could say I was thinking of other things when I shampooed my hair blue, and two glasses of red wine didn't help my concentration. Let me explain. At the end of the year, before I begin a new project, I read the translation I've completed. I do final corrections (minor), set the pages in order, and place them in the box. This is part of the ritual, which includes imbibing two glasses of red wine. Aaliya lives alone with her books-books she has collected over a lifetime, books she translates into Arabic with no likelihood that they will ever be read. With her accidentally blue-dyed hair, her cantankerous dealings with her neighbours and her difficult relationship with her family, Aaliya is a character you will never forget. An Unnecessary Woman is a sublime novel, a love letter to literature and its power to define who we are.