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Never for one moment do you accept Lucy as a spy, intelligence officer, whatever she purports to be. Her undercover work in Marrakech is haphazard, her relationship stilted and unbelieveable, and the popular Diane Johnson sense of irony missing altogether. Don't it; I'll send you mine.
I love all the travelogue type books that Elizabeth Warnock Fernea has written! Since she wrote about the middle east during a various era, her books paint a various picture of the middle east than is portrayed these days. Her descriptions of life in Marrakech are from an insiders perspective and her writing is fresh, honest, and perceptive.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel framed through the device of the unreliable narrator, Lulu. Initially appearing as a naiive and somewhat fatuous American CIA agent, Lulu's actions become progressively more chilling and duplicitous. Diane Johnson's well-written novel meditates on the cultural imperatives states and religions use to justify expedience. This is a sophisticated novel and Lulu's blunt observations about Islam are part of her character, and not as some readers believe, evidence of ignorance and political incorrectness. Whether Marrakech is correctly portrayed is irrelevant, as this is not a travelogue. It is an exotic and lushly described setting whose ambience gives a noirish film-like quality to the action.
I have fun reading Diane Johnson because she manages to be both lively and literate. Her other books--Le Mariage and Le Divorce--had the same simple charm. Even when she is dealing with rather ghastly happenings, she writes from the viewpoint of a somewhat puzzled heroine who doesn't take herself too seriously.
I am an American woman who has been living in Marrakesh for the past 9 years. I just read this book. Even though it was written in the early 1970's, I found it to be a very accurate portrayal of life in the old medina, even now. The author and her husband are anthropologists, and both spoke fluent Arabic upon their arrival, from having lived previously in Iraq and Egypt. Therefore, the author was able to converse with people daily, and understand completely, what they were saying. This is something I have never been able to do. Because of this, she is able to give a VERY detailed look at an aspect of life which is nearly impossible for most outsiders to penetrate--the hidden life of Medina women, which takes put behind high, closed walls. What she describes is very related to what I have experienced here of life with my Moroccan husband's family, and the people who live around them in the Medina. This book is NOT a study of political or historical conditions--it is the detailed, private history of one family's year-long experience of living, and immersing itself, in the life of Marrakesh.
Being enamoured of the Middle East my find for reading matter usually begins in this area. We enjoyed a stay in Morrocco some years ago and I'm enjoying this depiction of everyday life in the ven the more latest happenings in the Middle East it's interesting because it portrays life in the 1970's and we can see how people and circumstances have or have'nt changed over the latest few years which leads us to a greater understanding of the people.
What Diane Johnson got right in this book is the important mindset of being an agent for the CIA. That is who LuLu is and she is on assignment in Marrakech in Morocco. There a number of cultures collide: French, English, American and every brand of Islam. It is Islam which is the concern, of course, in the constant unraveling by every spy organization of the terrorist threat. Johnson has caught what doing a job like this is really like. It is in a lot of ways dreadfully ordinary. LuLu must occupy herself in some charitable cover job, usually literacy for women in locations of the globe where girls don't read. Then she has a sort of affair going on but the guy is also involved with a runaway Saudi wife.With everyone she meets, she exists on two levels. Her job and her life are one and the same and by the end you are convinced it will always be so. Would I wish to be LuLu after reading this? No. But it was an interesting look at how a life could be led. Some reviewers are taking Johnson to task for her depiction of Morocco, its culture, customs and so forth. I know nothing about Morocco so it seemed genuine to me and it is a work of fiction not sit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very massive on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
"Lulu in Marrakech" provided the local color that I anticipated when I ordered it. Anyone that enjoys mystery and intrigue set in an exotic locale will search this book appealing. The info of put and time spice up a story that sometimes rambles but manages to entertain. The juxtaposition of Islam and the Western method of thinking provides insight into current globe conflicts. Lulu's role as a CIA operative leads her into situations that have open-ended questions, and the violence that shatters her make-believe life among the expatriates in Morocco came as a shock. I admit to seeking out definitive endings in the books I read and was left longing for one at the end of this book. Still the book took me on an interesting journey.
A most thoughtful acc of life as an ex-pat in the medina in the 1970's with lots of insight into relationships between Marrakshis and early and sensibly cking the verve and humor of Peter Mayne's book set in the 1950's but eminently readable and bably of most interest to those who are familiar with Marrakesh.
This unbelievable book depicts the life of Moroccans and the author's experience's are expressed just is a book which I read 10 years ago, but one I wanted to hold to read again.I really recommend reading the book before or after a trip to Morocco or to gain knowledge about the Moroccan Arabic method of life. The author, also, wrote an interesting acc of her life in Iraq in her book" Guests of the Sheik" which is another keeper.Enjoy.
My mom gave this book to a mate over 5 years ago and I have been looking for a copy since that time. This is a amazing book that helps people learn and appreciate other cultures and understand the diversity in the Middle East and Northern Africa. She has also written memoirs about Iran and Egypt. This book arrived in perfect condition and fairly priced.
I love reading books from this author, simply because I love reading his books. He makes his reads so simple to follow and simple to read, that you can’t support but to hold reading. Each of these locations sounds simply awesome and breath-taking, I can’t wait to go and visit each and every one of them, and I promise I will definitely do so. I’m thrilled to have the info required to go and visit these places.
I'm heading to Marrakesh in a few weeks. Although I had heard of a lot of of the websites mebtioned, I wasn't entirely clear on what they were and why I should see them. This book is going to support me not miss some amazing locations.
I thought this tutorial was interesting in that it actually contains history, not just pictures and names. It is a amazing method to learn of fresh places, even if you are not going to go there. Makes me wish to see the Saadian Tombs. I would have rated this one #1.
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