My Eye Is A Button On Your Dress by Hanan al-Shaykh


Title: My Eye Is A Button On Your Dress
Author: Hanan al-Shaykh
In: I Am Heathcliff (Kate Mosse)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Twisted romance
Dates read: 1st April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Borough Press
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

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She’s received a letter from a man she hasn’t seen for years. One that she thought was lost to her forever. But, when she returns to her home for a happily ever after, she realises that not everything is as it seems…


I actually thought that this story was going to have a happy ending. Completely expected it, and actually looked forward to it. And then all of my hopes came crashing down at the end. It was actually kind of a sinister ending and one that left the story open to many, many possibilities. It was just… uncomfortable and really quite dark.

I haven’t really read any stories that feature Arabic culture and are written by people from this part of the world. It’s something that just hasn’t shown up on my radar, and I haven’t really gone searching for it either. So it was kind of nice and interesting to read a story set in this reality. Especially when it is in a collection based upon an English classic. A great way to show how universal themes can be carried across a variety of cultural realities.

Although this story deals with a culture and worldly view that I don’t understand at all, it was still completely relatable. This short story took the same themes that I am familiar with and bought them into a different world, sweeping me along with them.

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Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

3 thoughts on “My Eye Is A Button On Your Dress by Hanan al-Shaykh

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