Those 'Post' Headlines? Harder to Write Than You Think
RACHEL MARTIN, host:
Speaking of our blog, let's take a spin around the BPP blog. Our blog editor Laura Conaway is still away. She's back tomorrow. We know we could never replace Laura, but we're going to give it our best shot.
ALISON STEWART, host:
Let's continue with the book theory, OK?
MARTIN: Let's, yeah.
STEWART: Tomorrow is our first meeting. We're reading Hisham Matar's "In the Country of Men." Now, the novel is not only about living under the repressive regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. It's also about other kinds of repression inside the narrator's family.
The narrator's mother, Najwa, is struggling with the aftermath of her loss of liberty when she was caught at a cafe with a boy, and then forced by her family to give up her education and to get married, and she was just 14. Here's a scene where she tells her nine-year-old son about how her family locked her away for 30 days. Her father, quote, unquote, "liberated" her from her prison.
Mr. STEPHEN HOYE: (Reading) (As Najwa) I cried, I cried because his mercy was harsher than his justice. I cried because I understood that I was now the property of another man, and beating me was no longer a privilege he could allow himself. That stifled smile now looked like his farewell. Would I ever sell you, he said, sitting beside me beneath the entangled grapevine. Would I ever give you to a man that didn't deserve you?
And that was how I knew it was over. A word had been given and a word had been received, men's words that could never be taken back or exchanged. My eyes were no longer yawning. I could focus well now. I remembered his beatings and felt my back grow taller at the realization that they had forever ended. I looked down at my knee touching his and was amazed at how able and enduring the human body is.
MARTIN: That's a bit from Hisham Matar's "In the Country of Men." We're discussing the book on our blog, and we want your questions and thoughts on this. We're going to interview the author coming up on the show this week. I think, Alison, you're going to do that.
STEWART: I have 60 more pages to read.
MARTIN: Get going...
STEWART: Hey, that does it for this hour. Thank you so much for listening to the Bryant Park Project. That's Rachel Martin, I'm Alison Stewart, and this is the BPP from NPR News.
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