The Occasional Virgin

Hanan al-Shaykh

The Occasional Virgin
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The Occasional Virgin

Hanan al-Shaykh

Huda and Yvonne are on holiday in the Italian Riviera, enjoying the sun and the sparkling Mediterranean - which feel like forbidden fruit, denied during their conservative childhoods in Lebanon. Even now in their thirties, with Huda a successful producer and Yvonne running her own advertising agency, the remembered injustices of adolescence - an innocent game harshly punished, a mother’s relentless criticism - still sting.

But a chance encounter with a handsome young man in London brings an unexpected opportunity for them to exorcise the past, with entirely surprising results.

Painting a refreshingly truthful picture of modern womanhood, The Occasional Virgin perceptively explores sexuality, Islam and cultural identity - and the difficulty of finding a man who’ll call when he says he will. Frank, funny and fearless, it is the colourful, wickedly entertaining story of two unforgettable characters, and the bizarre lengths we’ll go to for love.

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