Living in a timeless world


Dreamers of the Day: A Novel (Hardcover) by Mary Doria Russell (Author)

Dreamers of the Day: A Novel (Hardcover) by Mary Doria Russell (Author)

Mary Doria Russell’s fiction has always dealt with power and the search for elusive lands as a means to further it. … For her fourth book, Dreamers of the Day, Russell shifts her gaze to the Middle East, specifically to the 1921 Cairo Peace Conference where a group of high-profile Europeans met to decide the fate of the region in the aftermath of the First World War. The reader’s guide along this fascinating trip is Agnes Shanklin, a 40-year-old spinster who lives the staid life of a schoolteacher in Cleveland, until she lands a huge pie of inheritance money. (via Living in a timeless world).

This book is, seemingly, a lot like Midshipman Mr.Easy by Captain Marryat – which set out to white wash slavery. This book by Mary Doria Russell seems to be another such book – going by reviews. The carving of the Middle East after WW1 by the victorius allied powers, a disgruntled Russia and straw figures selected by the likes of TE Lawrence and Gertrude Bell to misrule over the Middle East – and now propped up by the US.

Maybe, somebody should remind Mary Doria Russell about the real people who are paying a price of the Cairo Conference.

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  1. stacybuckeye
    March 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    In the book she does say that Lawrence would not know until years later that he had failed. I don’t think she ‘white washed’ it at all.

  2. March 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    The point is not whether Lawrence succeeded or failed.

    It is the sheer arrogance that a few amateurs can decide the fate of millions. And that is the white wash.

    TE Lawrence was in the long line of many who believed in the White Man’s Burden – and Mary Doria Russell is one of the new ones in that long list.

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