Head Above Water
Reflection on Illness

By Shahd Alshammari

Head Above Water

Shahd Alshammari is assistant professor of literature and lives with Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed at the age of 18. Her works center on disability, women’s studies, and Arab women’s narratives.

Head Above Water takes us into a space of intimate conversations on illness and society’s stigmatization of disabled bodies. We are invited in to ask the big questions about life, loss, and the place of the other. The narrative builds a bridge that reminds us of our common humanity and weaves the threads that tie us all together.


Through conversations about women’s identities, bodies, and our journeys through life, we arrive at a politics of love, survival, and hope. 

'Shahd Alshammari's sensuous prose explores the manipulation of memory, the question of time, and gender politics. We are invited to reconsider the intricacies of love, the body, motherhood, the pervasive power of language [and] the power of women's education … It is a brave book.' - Jokha Alharthi Omani author of Celestial bodies, winner of the International Man Booker Prize (2019)


Additional Information:

Published 2022 (Neem Tree Press) - ISBN: 9781911107408 - 200 pages - Paperback


Rights: World