Concordia University, St. Paul presents, Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys, a collection of novels and memoirs that give a glimpse of what life is like for children and adults living in Muslim-majority societies.
During the 2013-14 academic year Concordia will hold discussions titled "Points of View", featuring five titles in this collection. The selected titles open doors to the experiences of adults and children living in Muslim-majority societies and demonstrate the rich diversity of experience and variety of Muslim opinions, and help recognize and confirm shared values.
The final book featured in the year-long discussion series is Fatima Merniss's memoir "Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood". New York: Perseus Books Group, 1994
Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood takes place in Fez, Morocco, in the 1940s and early 1950s. The harem of this memoir’s title is a large house with its own courtyard, shared by several generations of an extended family. Fatima Mernissi recounts her experiences and observations as a precocious young girl living in the harem, acutely aware of the many sacred frontiers she is forbidden to cross—the barriers between men and women and between Muslims and Christians, the threshold separating one room from another or the interior of the house from the street outside. She learns that all the women around her chafe at the limitations of harem life in one way or another, but she also comes to realize that she can transcend these limitations covertly—through imagination, creativity, learning, and even mischief.
Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys, a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Library Association.