Joy Majdalani-Habib’s new book: raw, fiery and hella transgressive
We’ve all met a girl like her. A 13-year old schoolgirl of “a good family” who went to a “good school”, spoke French, had rich parents and zero worries. That might look like a walk in the park for the uninformed, but the reality is that a world like that is harsh, and it demands a lot in return for its acceptance of a young girl. And when her blooming sexual awakening begins, the hostile and grave politics linked to her sexual exploration revealed a complex web of rules, restrictions and punishments.
Joy Majdalani‘s debut novel, recently published, shamelessly and insolently recreates the intensity of desire in a young adolescent Beiruti girl, as well as the violence of the social norms that rain down upon those desires.
One of the things we loved most about this tale is the refreshing reversal of the traditional male gaze of literature on sexual desire: the object of desire, here, is the boy, the girl is far from being a Lolita, and the fresh perspective is much, much welcome.
Here are a couple of reviews we’ve translated from French:
Review: The force (we will not write: power, which is often only the refusal to associate the feminine with the force) of the desire of a young girl, written by a woman. No artificial poetization of the female imagination, no romanticization of the young girl. Finally, a fair, raw, abrasive novel.
Review: The taste of boys is a pure wonder, it had been a long time since I had read a book that had marked me so much by its ability to verbalize the waves of chaotic and contradictory feelings that come with adolescence and the awakening of the desire. I recommend with my eyes closed.
We’re loving this raw and incisive look at what it means to be a young girl in Beirut, discovering desires that are forbidden and yet, so enticing. This is a book we recommend for anyone wanting to peek through the curtains of Lebanese high-society through the eyes of a girl who doesn’t like to follow rules.