Ex-pats and natives mix it up intimately in a Dubai that is almost a character in Garry Craig Powell’s Stoning the Devil, a novel that in my opinion should be a NY Times notable, for the quality of its prose and the significance and timeliness of its portrait of women in the United Arab Emirates.

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It shouldn’t be surprising when boys raised isolated from girls and taught they’re superior grow up to become adult sexual monsters (sometimes even unwilling monsters). What is surprising is how Garry Craig Powell gets under the skin, into the hearts and minds, of his female characters. Sex–intimacy–is at the heart of the interlocking pieces that make up the story.

Dubai is another big surprise to me in Stoning the Devil: I didn’t think I’d be interested in Dubai as a setting. Think again. I loved spending time as a reader in gleaming high-rise apartment buildings, in opulent hotel bars, in a private girl’s school, all of it in a Dubai that is an outpost as certain as the barebones cabin in the frigid north of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

For more, read Paula Medoza’s review of Stoning the Devil at Lipstick and Politics, http://www.lipstickandpolitics.com/lipstick/desire-and-debasement-feminism-in-garry-craig-powells-stoning-the-devil

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One scene in Stoning the Devil takes place in a subterranean aquarium restaurant.

Top photo, of Dubai Camel Race, Wikimedia Commons By Lars Plougmann from London, United Kingdom (Camel race in front of the Dubai towers – P1050234) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo of Dubai aquarium restaurant By Gryffindor (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

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