Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree

Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree

Paperback - 1993
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Tariq Ali tells us the story of the aftermath of the fall of Granada by narrating a family sage of those who tried to survive after the collapse of their world. Ali is particularly deft at evoking what life must have been like for those doomed inhabitants, besieged on all sides by intolerant Christendom. "This is a novel that have something to say, and says it well." -- The Guardian
Publisher: London ; New York : Verso, 1993
ISBN: 9780860916765
0860916766
Branch Call Number: ALI T
PR6051.L44 S48 1993
Characteristics: 242 p. : ill. ; 19 cm

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Spain in the early 16th century


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r
ryner
Jan 23, 2017

This is the first in a series Ali has written concerning the history of Islam, and the setting is the late 15th-century Iberian Peninsula, near the culmination of the Spanish Reconquista. Young Yazid's well-to-do family has lived for countless generations on their estate outside Gharnata (Span. Granada) in the Al-Andalus region of modern-day southern Spain. But they are Muslim, and the Catholic Church has issued an ultimatum: convert or be destroyed.

I selected this book somewhat randomly while browsing the library stacks one day, and I'm so glad I did, although it is utterly heartbreaking. Any book lover -- or worse, librarian -- will be horrified and dismayed at the opening scene in which nearly the entirety of the written culture of the Moors goes up in flames. The reader is also obliged to consider the meaning of ownership when it comes to land and geography. The Moors themselves invaded Al-Andalus in 722, and enjoyed a cultured, sophisticated, educated society in that region for the next 700+ years. Did it now belong to them? Or was Christian Spain fully within its rights to take back land that had been out of its control for as long? Is not history a perpetual campaign of humans wresting land and resources from one another?

PimaLib_MaryG Aug 16, 2016

A grand and heartbreaking tale of a Muslim family during the Fall of Granada and the end of Spain's famed Convivencia, when Muslims, Jews and Catholics co-existed and art and science flourished.

t
teaker
Feb 21, 2012

A wonderful historical novel. It is eye opening to read about these times from the point of view of the Muslim family, rather than the Christians. Most of us are somewhat familiar with this time in history, but from the point of view of the Christians, there fore this book gives us insight about the other groups (Jews & Muslims) and how they felt about this time in history.

Npavlis Dec 28, 2010

The First in what has become a Quintet of novels by Tariq Ali. Well researched and written, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree draws the reader into the tragic situation of the Banu Hudayl, a family descended of the original Muslims to settle in Spain, some eight years after the fall of Granada. While many have fled or converted, this family has held onto their Religion, Language, and Culture in a time when it is increasingly dangerous to do so. A novel of depth and beauty with extremely compelling characters.

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