'It is not surprising that The Story of Zahra is banned in several Arab countries. Subtle as it is, there is a subversive truthfulness to this ... Show synopsis 'It is not surprising that The Story of Zahra is banned in several Arab countries. Subtle as it is, there is a subversive truthfulness to this portrait of a modern Arab family that is far removed from any bland ideal.' Sunday Times 'In this impressive and eloquent novel, al-Shaykh has lifted the corner of a dark curtain.' Sunday Telegraph Haunted by memories of deception and betrayal, Zahra leaves Lebanon to visit her uncle in political exile in West Africa, taking with her the uncomfortable secrets of her seduction. Returning uncomforted to Beirut, Zahra re-enters a world of explosions, shootings, arbitrary death - and loveless marriage. What could possibly make more sense than to use her own body to divert a sniper from his task? Out of the terror of war, and of sexual confusion and abuse, comes a strange fulfilment of Zahra's search for ecstacy and for freedom. And every reader will dream with her of how life could be - if only the war were over.