Author Reads Novel Set in Syria Where She Lived

Author Emily Robbins, who lived in Syria off and on over the course of several years, came to campus to read from her latest novel set in that Middle Eastern country on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury.

A Word for Love, concerns an American student, Bea, who travels to pre-civil war Syria to study an ancient manuscript of an Arabic love story. She becomes deeply involved in her host family’s lives and in the forbidden romance between an Indonesian house servant and a local policeman.

“The story is about love and oppression in a world on the brink of war,” says Westminster Associate Professor of English Maureen Tuthill. The Westminster English Department hosted the event.

Robbins was a Fulbright Fellow in Syria where she studied religion and language with a women’s mosque movement and lived with the family of a leading intellectual.

In 2016 she received a second Fulbright Fellowship to study in Jordan. She has also lived in North Africa.

Robbins holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Chicago and Brownsville, TX.

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