I want to let you all know about an author I have just had the privilege of learning about. Her name is L. R. Horowitz, and she’s both American and Israeli, but resides in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Her debut novel is called While the Sands Whisper.
What Is the Novel About?
While the Sands Whisper chronicles the forbidden love affair of a fifty-seven-year-old Jewish/Israeli woman with a Bedouin Sheikh, who is thirty years her junior.
After the main character, Ayishah, falls in love with her guide, Hakim, she learns of his participation in the Bedouin underground, filled with opium smuggling and prostitution trafficking.
But Ayishah’s life is also in danger. Because of her photography and Israeli nationality, she becomes a suspect of the Egyptian authorities, forcing her to leave the Sinai and the man she loves.
While the Sands Whisper is based on the true experiences of L. R. Horowitz, who is a photojournalist by trade.
“The story of the novel is taken from my own adventures, based on years of travel to the Sinai desert, innumerable conversations, close friendships, love with a Bedouin and considerable research,” Horowitz shares.
"While certain events of my life in the novel are recounted, I give no pretense of telling exact truths. Incidents may have been created from my own fantasy, exaggerated or altered. This is my style of writing and why I've classified it as an 'autobiographical novel.' "
The Author’s Life
L. R. Horowitz was born and raised in New Jersey, the daughter of a Jewish Mafioso gangster. At the age of seventeen, she ran away from what she considered a “materialistic America” to Israel in hopes of finding true values and her true identity.
Horowitz’s relationship with the Bedouin began while she was living in Israel. As a foreign woman and female photographer working in Muslim societies, she was given special access to the private worlds of both Bedouin men and women.
“Often invited for a cup of tea or a meal in their open living rooms, I easily entered the male and female meeting quarters,” explains Horowitz.
“My [romantic] relationship with the Bedouin nomad, called Hakim in my novel, began at just such a meeting; twelve men sitting in a circle, serving me cup after cup of over-sweetened tea. The men always treated me with quiet respect.”
During the period Horowitz writes about her book, she was in the midst of a photographic project about the Bedouin in the mountains and desert. The man known as Hakim became her guide through this land.
“As a photographer, I have never been afraid of getting close to people. My everyday experiences with people of various cultures have been so enriching and intense, that I simply had to write them down.”