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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472282507

Price: £12.99

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‘Impossible to put down while you’re reading, and impossible to forget about when you’ve finished’ Glamour

After a gruelling job interview where she was interrogated about everything from her political leanings to her family background, Sabrina Mahfouz realised that one unspoken question had pervaded her entire life: as a woman of Middle Eastern heritage, could she really be trusted?

Years later, Sabrina found herself confronting this question and how it was specifically informed by the British Empire’s historical dominance in the Middle East. Taking us on a journey of the Middle-Eastern coastlines and waterways that were so vital to the Empire’s hold, and combining memoir, history, politics, myth and poetry, These Bodies of Water is a tapestry of writing that tells the unacknowledged story of Britain’s relationship with the Middle East in the most revealing terms.

‘A writer of staggering conviction, ingenuity and integrity’ Kae Tempest

‘Brilliant and profound’ Nikesh Shukla

‘A bold, brave look at the ways imperialism affects us all’ Riz Ahmed


I loved THESE BODIES OF WATER. It's fierce, intelligent, and wise, and everyone should read it
Joanne Harris
Sabrina Mahfouz's poetic talents come to the forefront in this lyrical meditation on the influence of the British Empire in the Middle East. Part memoir, part history, These Bodies of Water defies categorisation in favour of a lucid, tumbling narrative that sweeps you along for the ride. Like all truly brilliant books, it's impossible to put down while you're reading, and impossible to forget about when you've finished
Sabrina Mahfouz is a tidal wave of truth swallowing the banks of empire with a torrent of information which will not be damned. These Bodies of Water is so vast, yet achingly intimate. It is a brilliant piece of work which had me hooked from start to finish.
Lemn Sissay
Just wonderful . . . Such a brilliant and unique way to tackle the impacts of colonialism on a region. I absolutely loved it
Alya Mooro
These Bodies of Water is a bold, brave look at the ways imperialism affects us all, from the universally political to the insightfully intimate
Riz Ahmed
Sabrina is a writer of staggering conviction, ingenuity and integrity. Her skills are mighty, her language is beautiful and precise. She's a real one
Kae Tempest
Brilliant and profound...this book is about coastlines, cities, climate collapse and capitalism. There's so much going on in it. It's marvellous
Nikseh Shukla
A brilliant and fascinating history of the Middle East, forcing us to rethink everything we thought we knew. A completely necessary book for us all as we sit in a post-Brexit world, once more considering boundaries and border lines. Sabrina writes beautifully, using prose, rhythm and poetry, to combine history and memoir in one of the most compelling journeys through the Middle East
Salma El-Wardany
I'm a huge fan of Sabrina Mahfouz and her unsurpassed talent to draw a reader in from the first line. These Bodies Of Water is a great example of her integrity, her essential honesty, this work is breathtaking and ferocious, uncompromising and powerful
Salena Godden
This is a fearless and brilliant book. Each and every sentence is fire!
Nikita Gill
With fierce honesty and lyricism, Mahfouz maps out the story of British colonialism in the Arab world, grappling with the dark foundations of her privilege and challenging the lie of meritocracy on which modern Britain is built
Culture Whisper