Born in 1877 in Geneva, Switzerland, Isabelle Eberhardt became a rebel at an early age, dressing like a man so she could have access to areas forbidden to women, smoking in public, and otherwise scandalizing Genevan society. Already multilingual, she studied the Arabic language and Islamic culture and eventually converted to Islam. Eberhardt traveled throughout North Africa, wrote about her experiences, and married an Algerian. Her legendary, short, and stormy life included subversive political anarchism, the mysticism of Islam, numerous love affairs, and, most importantly, writing unmatched by her contemporaries. The merit of Eberhardt’s writings, similar to that of many artists, was neither known nor valued until after her death. The companion to volume 1, Writings from the Sand, Volume 2, showcases the prose of one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating female wanderers and includes previously unpublished stories and an unfinished novel. This new volume exemplifies Eberhardt’s creation of identity in fiction as her writing explores the world of prostitutes, Bedouins, and French colonists in exotic tales of love and conquest.
About the Author
Isabelle Eberhardt (1877–1904) died at the age of twenty-seven in a flash flood in the desert town of Aïn Sefra, Algeria. Melissa Marcus is the translator of Writings from the Sand, Volume 1: Collected Works of Isabelle Eberhardt (Nebraska, 2012), Fawzia Assaad’s Layla, an Egyptian Woman, and Malika Mokeddem’s The Forbidden Woman (Nebraska, 1998).