Women of the Five Senses

Jalal Barjas

Women of the Five Senses is a novel made up of six chapters, each telling the story of a woman known by the main protagonist, through one of the human senses. The protagonist, Saraj Ezzedine, is a painter born with six senses instead of five. The story tells of his suffering caused by corrupt politicians, in particular Suleiman Al-Tali’a, who has stolen from his country. Saraj emigrates to America on 11 September 2001, and leaves on the day he sees Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi set himself alight nearly a decade later. Returning to Amman, Jordan, a rich man, he builds himself a palace alongside his old enemy Al-Tal’ia, but after the mysterious disappearance of a number of women, people begin to panic and women no longer walk the streets. Through the character of Saraj, we follow the transformations experienced by the Arab world, its people and places, in recent times. 


Arabic Institute for Research and Publishing


2019 Longlist