Spokane author's book published

October 6, 2008 5:30:20 PM PDT
Sherry Jones' "The Jewel of Medina" reached bookstores Monday amid fears that the book about the Prophet Muhammad's child bride might lead to violence and threats.

But the author said she had received no threats and was spending the day quietly, except for talking to reporters and being photographed.

"I'm going to a dinner party tonight, but it's not in my honor or anything," Jones said.

The celebrations will occur Friday, when she reads from her first novel in Spokane and is feted afterward.

Jones said she first saw a hard copy of her novel last week while in New York.

"I burst into tears," she said. "This has been my dream since the second grade."

It was a fight to get "The Jewel of Medina" into print, though.

The original publisher, Random House Inc., backed out because of fears it would spark violence because of its provocative topic. Beaufort Books recently agreed to publish the novel, then sped up the release date to Monday instead of Oct. 15 to short-circuit any possible violence.

Her novel is about Aisha, who according to tradition was 9 when she became the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, and later a political and military leader in her own right. Jones has already completed a sequel about Aisha's adult life that Beaufort plans to publish next year.

Publication in Britain remains in doubt after the arrest of three men in London in connection with a fire-bomb attack on the offices of publisher Gibson Square.

Jones said she had received no information from Gibson Square on whether it plans to proceed with publication. But she hoped that publication in the United States would finally show people that the book is not insulting to Muslims.


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