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The Resource The butterfly mosque, G. Willow Wilson

The butterfly mosque, G. Willow Wilson

Label
The butterfly mosque
Title
The butterfly mosque
Statement of responsibility
G. Willow Wilson
Title variation
butterfly mosque
Title variation remainder
a young American womans journey to love and Islam
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Documents the author's conversion from all-American atheist to Islam, a journey marked by her decision to relocate to Cairo, romance with a passionate young Egyptian, and her efforts to balance the virtues of both cultures
Storyline
Review
  • In this satisfying, lyrical memoir of a potentially disastrous clash between East and West, a Boulder native and Boston University graduate found an unlikely fit living in Cairo, Egypt, and converting to Islam. Wilson embarked on a yearlong stint working at an English-language high school in Cairo right after her college graduation in 2003. She had already decided that of the three Abrahamic religions, Islam fulfilled her need for a monotheistic truth, even though her school did not include instruction in the Qur'an because “it angered students and put everybody at risk.” Once in Cairo, despite being exposed to the smoldering hostility Arab men held for Americans, especially for women, she found she was moved deeply by the daily plight of the people to scratch out a living in this dusty police state tottering on the edge of “moral and financial collapse”; she and her roommate, barely eating because they did not know how to buy food, were saved by Omar, an educated, English-speaking physics teacher at the school. Through her deepening relationship with Omar, she also learned Arabic and embraced the ways Islam was woven into the daily fabric of existence, such as the rituals of Ramadan and Friday prayers at the mosque. Arguably, Wilson's decision to take up the headscarf and champion the segregated, protected status of Arab women can be viewed as odd; however, her work proves a tremendously heartfelt, healing cross-cultural fusion. (June) --Staff (Reviewed April 19, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 16, p46)
  • In essence, Wilson's journey as related here is a simple one: coming-of-age, finding community and religion, and discovering the many aspects of love. But the context is not simple at all. At once introspective and impulsive, Wilson as a teen had pink hair, partied hard, and responded to the pull toward God by getting tattoos. After college and a serious illness, she took a teaching job in Egypt, where she encountered cultural confusion, complicated social and political tensions, and Omar, a thoughtful young teacher with a taste for heavy metal bands. Following her own inner compass, Wilson explored faith and a blossoming romance. She writes with sympathy and insight about cross-cultural relationships, family, and belief. VERDICT Moments of clarity and humor thread through this uplifting story of one young American seeking integrity in a fractured world. A first-rate memoir and love story that is a delight to read.—Lisa Klopfer, Eastern Michigan Univ. Lib., Ypsilanti --Lisa Klopfer (Reviewed May 1, 2010) (Library Journal, vol 135, issue 8, p80)
  • Debut memoir chronicles Wilson's conversion to Islam and negotiation of Egyptian society.The author, who has published essays on religion and the Middle East in the New York Times Magazine and the Atlantic Monthly, begins with a trip to Iran in 2004, noting that she was a Sunni living in Egypt. She then flashes back to her sophomore year at Boston University, where she suffered from kidney troubles and was hospitalized. Her medical trauma caused her to reconsider her religious views. "As a child," she writes, "I had precognitive dreams about mundane events like the deaths of pets, and I could not remember a time when I was not in love with whatever sat behind this world." Feeling unfulfilled by atheism, she began to study Arabic and Islam around the time of 9/11. She tried to read The Satanic Verses but found it "dense and unpalatable." Urged by dreams of a white horse and some Tarot cards, she headed to Cairo in 2003 with a friend, met dreamy Omar at a language school, fell in love, "came out" as a Muslim, met his family, married him, began functioning as an Egyptian woman and discovered that she loved the balance in her life between her myriad uxorial duties and her journalism. She defends some aspects of the paternalism of the culture and records how she struggled to learn the complex cultural choreography her new life demanded, and how ugly Americans in Cairo's markets horrified her. Her parents and American friends endeavored to understand, but as Egypt veered ever more conservative, she and Omar considered a move to the United States. Several times the author quotes others who praise her writing abilities.Enlightening cultural description and analysis blends somewhat awkwardly with self-regard. (Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2010)
Biography type
autobiography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
352505
Cataloging source
BTCTA
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1982-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Wilson, G. Willow
Dewey number
  • 297.092
  • B
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Wilson, G. Willow
  • Muslim converts
  • Muslim women
  • Muslim women
  • Americans
  • Cairo (Egypt)
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a young American woman's journey to love and Islam
Label
The butterfly mosque, G. Willow Wilson
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
772362
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
304 pages
Isbn
9780802118875
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780802118875
  • (OCoLC)475444742
Label
The butterfly mosque, G. Willow Wilson
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
772362
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
304 pages
Isbn
9780802118875
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780802118875
  • (OCoLC)475444742

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Southeast BranchBorrow it
      5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd., Austin, TX, 78744, US
      30.1876256 -97.7419319
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