The Lover: A Sufi Mystery
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Listen to my interview where I discuss bringing history to life in The Lover on New Books in Historical Fiction Podcast
Dr. Laury Silvers’ debut novel transports the reader to 10th century Baghdad, during the city’s golden age when it was one of the largest and most diverse cities in the world. Her exquisite descriptions of the city and erudite knowledge of its historical denizens render real the people of Baghdad to the reader, whether pious mystics, cynical wine merchants, or frontier soldiers turned detectives. It's a great mystery and its faithful portrayal of Baghdad makes it a compelling read for anyone interested in the history of Islam and the Medieval Middle East.
—Sherwan Hindreen Ali, a native Baghdadi, and graduate student in the Institute for Islamic Studies, McGill University
This is a novel that will both entertain readers and educate them about a wide range of subjects relating to intellectual, social and cultural history of the period in which it is set. It successfully weaves together fiction with meticulous historical research.
—Michael Mumisa, Cambridge Special Livingstone Scholar
With an informed, historical view of the spiritual atmosphere in medieval Baghdad, Laury Silvers has written an exciting mystery in lucid, gripping prose, bringing to life complex individuals of the past, moral agents both layered and conflicted. —Cyrus Ali Zargar, Al-Ghazali Distinguished Professor, UCF and Author of The Polished Mirror
From Fofky’s: “Silvers does a great job painting the time and place of this story lyrically. Her words pack a punch! When she describes ugly, she does it vividly. And when she describes beauty, love, metaphysical feelings, etc. you experience those too. In all, The Lover is a beautifully written historical Muslim thriller.”
Biography and Contact
This book series arises from my academic research on early Sufism—especially early pious, mystic, and Sufi women—and my personal stumbling as a Muslim on the Sufi path for the past thirty years. I was as a professor at Skidmore College and the University of Toronto teaching courses on Islam, Sufism, and Gender. I am presently a visiting research fellow in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. I’m the child of storytellers, so I suppose this was inevitable, the comedian Phil Silvers and Evelyn Silvers, a woman of Irish descent who advised that the truth should never get in the way of a good story. I’ve tried to make the truth into a good story. These books arise out of my desire to talk about the people and places of this time beyond the constraints of academic skepticism. They are my love song to these early pious folk, mystics, and Sufis as people—who lived in a particular historical moment with all its complications—and my experience of Islam.
I live in Toronto with my partner, Michael and my doggo, Billie Girl, and near my stepdaughters, Kaya and Mishi, their partners Ryan and Ben, and their mother, Eleonore. I am also a family member of a beautiful, inclusive, local Muslim Sufi order.