The Stone Woman
by Tariq Ali
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London. 2000. Verso. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 274 pages. hardcover. 1859847641. Cover design by Alan Hill Design. keywords: Literature Pakistan Islam. inventory # 28166. FROM THE PUBLISHER-Each year, when the weather in Istanbul becomes unbearable, the family of Iskender Pasha, a retired Ottoman notable, retires to its summer palace overlooking the Sea of Marmara. It is 1899 and the last great Islamic empire is in serious trouble. A former tutor poses a question which the family has been refusing to confront for almost a century: ' Your Ottoman Empire is like a drunken prostitute, neither knowing nor caring who will take her next. Do I exaggerate, Memed? The history of Iskender Pasha's family mirrors the growing degeneration of the Empire they have served for the last five hundred years. This passionate story of masters and servants, school-teachers and painters, is marked by jealousies, vendettas and, with the decay of the Empire, a new generation which is deeply hostile to the half-truths and myths of the golden days. ' The Stone Woman is the third novel of Tariq Ali's Islam Quartet. ' Like its predecessors-Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree and The Book of Saladin-its power lies both in the story-telling and the challenge it poses to stereotyped images of life under Islam. Tariq Ali (born 21 October 1943) is a British Pakistani writer, journalist, and filmmaker. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and regularly contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books. He is the author of several books, including Pakistan: Military Rule or People's Power (1970), Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State (1991), Pirates Of The Caribbean: Axis Of Hope (2006), Conversations with Edward Said (2005), Bush in Babylon (2003), and Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (2002), A Banker for All Seasons (2007), The Duel (2008) and The Obama Syndrome (2010).