Namesake

Reflections on A Warrior Woman

NS Nuseibeh author

Format:Hardback

Publisher:Canongate Books

Published:1st Feb '24

£16.99

Available for immediate dispatch.

Namesake cover

'A wonderful book about the deep backstories and the tangled histories of N. S. Nuseibeh's own multiple identit[ies]' MARK HADDON

'Explores vulnerability, fragility, anxiety, and ambivalence as ways of beautifully coming to terms with the wounds and worries of the world' HOMI K. BHABHA

I may not be brave enough, but somewhere deep inside of me there is, perhaps, the kernel of someone who is.


That brave someone was the legendary Nusayba bint Ka'ab al Khazrajia, who fought alongside the Prophet Muhammad at the dawn of Islam, the author N.S Nuseibeh's ancestor. In drawing on Nusayba's stories, Nuseibeh delves into the experience of being an Arab woman today and in the distant past - taking her from superheroes and the glorification of violence to the rise of Arab feminism, to what courage looks like in the context of interminable conflict. By seeking to understand her namesake in the context of her own twenty-first century concerns, Nuseibeh links our current ideas of Muslims and Arabs with their origins, exploring myth-making and identity, religion and nationhood, feminism and race.

As intimate as they are thoughtful, these linked essays offer a dazzling exploration of heritage, gender and the idea of home, while also showing how connecting with our history can help us understand ourselves and others today.

At once vulnerable and intellectually rigorous, here is an illuminating and trenchant exploration of Muslim feminism . . . An essential read in the war against lazy stereotypes, cultural annihilation and every form of apartheid -- DINA NAYERI * * Guardian * *
A wonderful book about the deep backstories and the tangled histories of N. S. Nuseibeh's own multiple identit[ies]. She is self-deprecating and thoughtful and always interesting, a rare instance of a writer who seems to listen as much as she informs -- MARK HADDON
A wonderfully inventive blend of personal insight and contemporary commentary with Islamic history, myth and culture . . . Intuitive and profound * * Big Issue * *
N.S. Nuseibeh conjures her diverse identities and interests to create a world that is free and hospitable. English-Palestinian, author-cook, mythologist-feminist, at home in Jerusalem, at work in Oxford, and at play in New York, Nuseibeh confronts the divisive and discriminatory issues that dog our times with a cosmopolitan ethic of justice and equality that seeks to build arguments, rather than to win them . . . Namesake explores vulnerability, fragility, anxiety and ambivalence as ways of beautifully coming to terms with the wounds and worries of the world -- HOMI K. BHABHA
Namesake is a brilliantly written book that will enrich how you think about feminism, identity, connection and home. A collection of fascinating and rigorous essays, it's a generous, intimate invitation to reflect on the different ways we might understand ourselves and one another -- OCTAVIA BRIGHT
The life of Nusayba - a mother, a warrior - becomes the prism through which N.S. Nuseibeh deftly and lyrically reflects the contemporary world back to us, illuminating not only the layers of a physical landscape shaped by empire and colonialism, but of our mental landscapes of myth and story. Probing questions of identity, inheritance, faith, feminism and home, Namesake is a masterful tapestry. It will leave you seeing both self and world with new eyes -- ERICA BERRY
Nuseibeh deftly probes a wide range of topics - history, feminism, religion, culture, nostalgia, racism, violence, anxiety, illness and motherhood - in ways that are deeply personal, specific and nuanced . . . Perhaps most beautifully and importantly, Nuseibeh's writing demands of her what it asks of her reader: self-examination, honesty and grace. It's no small thing to achieve in writing something so deeply personal that also graciously extends to others -- DIMA ALZAYAT
Fascinating, insightful and eye-opening. Namesake taught and entertained me in equal measure with its warmth, originality and vision. I loved how N.S. Nuseibeh seamlessly navigated between the brutally personal and breathtakingly universal, how she wove in such an eclectic and impressive range of voices and ideas -- VIOLET MOLLER
Such a brave, insightful and important book. A collection of essays exploring the author's Palestinian, Arab, British, Muslim, female, academic and privileged identities through deep thinking and rigorous research while using an ancestor as her touchstone . . . I learned so much from this book -- ZEBA TALKHANI
Incredible . . . A very warmly told and a very human book filled with tenderness, ample food and sensory descriptions -- CAROLINE EDEN

  • Joint winner of RSL Giles St Aubyn Awards 2022 (UK)

ISBN: 9781838852634

Dimensions: 220mm x 144mm x 28mm

Weight: 403g

288 pages

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