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‘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’ Lemn Sissay

Are you not made of Suez silt?
How do we know you won’t
shore our boats
by making yourself bigger
than we made you?

Sabrina Mahfouz once sat in a Whitehall interview room and was interrogated about everything from her political leanings to her private life. It was ostensibly a job interview, but implicit in their demands was the unspoken question: as a woman of Middle Eastern heritage, could she really be trusted?

Years later, Sabrina found herself confronting the meaning behind this interrogation, and how it was specifically informed by the British Empire’s historical dominance in the Middle East. THESE BODIES OF WATER investigates this history through the Middle Eastern coastlines and waterways that were so vital to the Empire’s hold. Interwoven with her own personal experiences, Sabrina combines history, politics, myth and poetry in a devastating examination of this unacknowledged part of Britain’s colonial past.

Part history, part polemic and part intimate memoir, THESE BODIES OF WATER is a tapestry of writing that tells the story of Britain’s relationship with the Middle East in the most revealing terms.

Reviews

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
Glamour
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