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The story title and synopsis made me wonder about the content. The story genuinely and beautifully took me places unknown to many of us. The individual struggle with own body gender identity is amplified by the “refusal” of family, society, and environments. The writer style builds up the narrative and the story outline to comfort us as we live the protagonist’s pain toward each milestone. – Amazon Review
Without tells a story of searching for belonging both in the world and within your own skin. Born in Saudi Arabia to a Yemeni family, the novel’s protagonist has been ill-at-ease since childhood, because she never felt like she was a girl. Alia’s alienation grows as she slowly comes to realise that she is, in fact, a man and begins the transition to live life as Ali.
This is a very important story to tell as it portrays the struggles of gender non-conforming people in society. The novel is sensitive and frank in how it approaches an intersex person’s struggles with the realities of love, friendship, and survival against the backdrop of a life lived between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and then later the UK.
Without navigates complex issues in a very human way, painting an honest portrait of how people come to terms with challenges they never expected they would face. Told in a deceptively simple style, through a tightly woven and skillful narration, Without makes these struggles resonate with us all.
“An exemplary work which accomplishes to flourish within the literary device of fragmentation. The different perspectives from different characters as narrators let us dive into interrelationships of the dynamics of gender and sexuality. It is certainly a magnificent piece touching upon delicate topics with a remarkable mastery.” -Reader Review