cover of book

I Saw Her in My Dreams
by Huda Hamed
translated by Nadine Sinno and William Taggart
University of Texas Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-4773-2696-1 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2698-5


I Saw Her in My Dreams is a powerful novel about interpersonal and systemic violence, examined through the lens of a relationship between Zahiyya, an anxious middle-class Omani artist, and Faneesh, the Ethiopian domestic worker she hires. When Zahiyya’s husband Amer, a novelist, leaves for Zanzibar in search of his biological mother, Zahiyya is left to confront her anxieties and prejudices. Both Zahiyya and Faneesh begin to suffer a recurring nightmare, prompting Zahiyya to read Fanheesh’s diaries in search of answers. Alone and afraid, Zahiyya reads excerpts from Amer’s novel, written from his father’s diaries about living in Zanzibar, where he fell in love with Amer’s mother, a Zanzibari woman whose absence still haunts him. Weaving between multiple perspectives and stories within stories, the novel explores honestly—but without sensationalizing or self-Orientalizing—the anti-Blackness that has endured in the Arab world and elsewhere.

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