Randa Abdel-Fattah

No Sex in the City

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thebookishomehas quoted3 years ago
Stay friends? Listen here, you moron, I’m almost thirty, I have all the friends I want in my life.
Xiomara Canizaleshas quoted4 years ago
How naive she must be to think that life is so safe and predictable that you can survive without some level of independence and autonomy.
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
As I speak I realise that all the words in my vocabulary still can’t begin to convey my feelings over the course of the last year. Words will only get me so far. The girls’ capacity to empathise will take me a little further. But there’s still a gap filled with a complexity and incongruity of emotions that I can’t verbalise. How do I articulate that I’ve felt both confused and flattered? Ashamed and sexually empowered? Enraged and self-pitying?
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
But I also know this: I’m whole, whether I’m single or married, in love or out of love. And I’m determined to be my own person no matter what.
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
So were there times you fell out of love with Dad?’

She ponders my questions. ‘No. Love can exist, even if it’s wilted and dehydrated. It’s not ideal, but that’s life. Love is the hardest thing in the world to keep in bloom. It needs attention every day. Some days I tried. Some days your dad tried. But that’s okay. Because we both knew we’ d never both give up trying.’
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
Once she’s left I ask Nirvana if she still loves Anil.

‘Yes,’ she answers emphatically. ‘But so what? Since when is love enough? I didn’t ask for this, but the reality is that if he really loves me, he has to hurt his mother. If I push him to stand up to her, and in the end he does, it won’t matter, I’ll still lose.’
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
‘Exactly. I know how hard it is to comprehend that even the smartest, most sensible women can find it difficult to leave. Sometimes the first instinct is to try to fix what’s broken, not throw it away. It can take a long time to realise that some things can never be fixed.’
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
She didn’t want to terminate the pregnancy.’

‘Of course not. That would be awful. Which is why women shouldn’t get themselves into that kind of situation in the first place,’ Anil says solemnly. ‘If you’re in an abusive relationship, you shouldn’t allow yourself to fall pregnant.’

Lisa is momentarily speechless.

‘Anil, you can’t just make blanket statements like that,’ I say. ‘There are so many factors involved. And it’s not all about the woman preventing pregnancy – you need a man in order to fall pregnant, remember.’ I struggle not to groan. ‘Don’t forget what kind of relationships these women are in. There isn’t a lot of self-determination in the first place. It’s been beaten out of them.’
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
Especially for girls. There’s no room for learning from your mistakes if that mistake happens to involve sex before marriage. That’s just the way it is.’

‘For girls. Not for guys.’

‘Yeah, well, there’s the double standard.’
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
t’s funny but sometimes you can get along with somebody, overlooking their sleaziness, or sloppiness, or any other annoying aspect of their personality, and then suddenly, at some random and inexplicable point, you just can’t stand them. You can’t stand the sight of them. You can’t stand to be in the same room as them, and when they talk to you, their voice grates on your nerves. I realise, then, as I reflect on how excited Danny was at my agreement to work at the weekend, that I’ll never go back to liking him as I did when I first started work, or even tolerating him as I have lately. I now can’t stand him.
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
My grandmother has often said to me, ‘Hurry up and get married and start your life!’

Really? So my existence until now has been a figment of my imagination, has it? I’ll take my first real breath, laugh my first real laugh, cry my first real tear when there’s a man at my side?
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
When I think about the students I work with, my worries seem meaningless in comparison. But does that mean I’m supposed to accept everything that happens to me – Dad’s debt, being unhappy at work – just because I’m grateful that I don’t live in a war zone, or that there’s always food on our table? Do I sit back and accept that I don’t need to strive for things to be better because, when measured against those less fortunate, I’ve been blessed with the best out of life?
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
Apparently she doesn’t want to be a working mum. She’s too much in love with motherhood,’ he says sarcastically. ‘After all the time and money I invested in building her career, she throws it away to spend her days breastfeeding and changing nappies!’

‘Oh, come on,’ Veronica says. ‘Not everybody wants a career. Some women prefer full-time motherhood.’

Danny smiles insincerely. ‘You’re right, Veronica. Which is why you can’t have it both ways. I stand to lose too much. Thank God your relationship is on the rocks. I can’t see you popping out a baby any time soon. As for Esma here, she’s so fussy she’s unlikely to find anyone who meets her high standards. My star employees! Don’t either of you even think about having a baby in the next five years if you want to see yourselves moving up in this place.’

‘That’s outrageous,’ Veronica cries.
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
I glance around at the group, taking a closer look. There’s no doubt there are some good-looking guys here. So now I just need to figure out their religion, then their level of religious observance, moving on to education, career prospects, temperament, capacity to engage in quality conversation, ability to make me laugh, travel experience and, just for the fun of it, interest in commitment.
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
Why, oh why, did my parents have to bring me up to be so conscious of self-respect and dignity and integrity? How on earth do those virtues give you any sense of satisfaction?
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
Some of them seriously think they’re above the law. When I explain the law to them, they laugh dismissively, seriously believing they’re not bound by any equal opportunity rules because they’re trying to run a business.
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
‘Yes, sir, I understand. You want a pharmacy assistant who is either twenty or over thirty ... Oh, sorry, what was that? ... Thirty-two? ... Okay, so twenty or over forty, but nothing in between because you don’t want anybody going on maternity leave
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
Ruby says, ‘What terrifies me is getting into a relationship thinking you can change all the bad habits, and then failing hopelessly.’
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
I want to settle down. But I don’t want to settle.
Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted3 years ago
y parents have always told me how lucky I am to have grown up in Australia, but it wasn’t until I started working at the centre that I really understood my blessings. Not in any material sense, but simply because I enjoy the freedom and dignities living in peace brings. I never appreciated that properly until I met people like Sonny and Faraj and Miriam and Ahmed and Christina, who have had the most basic human rights denied them
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