Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to “Broken Spring”:

 “It means freedom,” explained the young artist, helping me understand the word that kept appearing in drawings she and her art school classmates were skillfully painting on a wall in a leafy Cairo neighborhood.

Anger is the dominant theme in the row of eight-foot-high wall pictures. Clenched fists. Shouting faces.

The one next to my artist translator’s creation is different, simpler. Its two dominant images are a pair of arms, the rope that was shackling them together cut in two _ and next to them, two pieces of a puzzle, one with a “2” and the other with a “5.” They could fit together, but they stand apart.Image

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