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Hurma

As a woman in an ultraconservative society, our ill-fated heroine remains nameless: she is just another hurma, literally ‘sanctity,’ an entity to be protected from violation or dishonour – even the supposed dishonour of being named or heard. Growing up in the oppressive atmosphere of her childhood home in Sana’a, Hurma is buffeted by starkly contrasting influences – her brother’s socialist atheism, her sister’s extravagant but...

Product Description


As a woman in an ultraconservative society, our ill-fated heroine remains nameless: she is just another hurma, literally ‘sanctity,’ an entity to be protected from violation or dishonour – even the supposed dishonour of being named or heard.

Growing up in the oppressive atmosphere of her childhood home in Sana’a, Hurma is buffeted by starkly contrasting influences – her brother’s socialist atheism, her sister’s extravagant but ultimately tragic sexuality, her teachers’ piety, and the intoxicating effect of underground local pornography.

Hurma finds herself further and further from home, caught up in jihad but still as powerless and marginalised as ever, trapped in a series of increasingly desultory relationships with impotent men. As her chances of finding a meaningful adult relationship wither before her eyes, her deteriorating mental health conspires with her sexual frustration to lead her to the only truly climactic event she can precipitate for herself: the ultimate act of rebellion.