Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category
Winner of the Canadian Governor General‚Äôs Literary Award, Pullinger‚Äôs first novel to be published by a US publisher calls on the real-life characters of the consumptive Lady Duff Gordon and her faithful maid Sally to tell a story of adventure, passion and class in the 19th century.
Set in the 1930s and published in 1945, CAIRO MODERN is, by turns, ironic, satirical, farcical, and, ultimately, cynical, as the author creates a morality tale which takes place in a country where life‚Äôs most basic guiding principles are still uncertain. World War II has kept the British on the scene as a foreign power, a weak Egyptian monarchy is under siege by reformers, and the army is growing. As the novel opens, four college students, all due to graduate that year, are arguing moral principles, one planning to live his life according to ‚Äúthe principles that God Almighty has decreed,‚ÄĚ while others argue in favor of science as the new religion, materialism, social liberation, and even love as guiding principles. None of the students have any respect for their government, which they see as ‚Äúrich folks and major families.‚ÄĚ
Written in 1987, this last entry in the Cairo series by Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz is not a novel in the traditional sense. The book has no beginning, middle, and end, and no real plot. There is no standard chronology or strong characters who develop fully during the action. In a bold experiment, Mahfouz uses the traditional Arab biographical dictionary as his structural model for the book.
August 7, 2009
¬∑ Judi Clark ¬∑ No Comments
Tags: Arabic World, Mahfouz, Political ¬∑ Posted in: Egypt, Literary, Nobel Prize for Literature, Translated, Unique Narrative, World Lit, y Award Winning Author
THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING is a true literary blockbuster‚ÄĒ‚Äúthe best-selling novel in the Middle East for two years and the inspiration for the biggest budget movie ever produced in Egypt,‚ÄĚ according to National Geographic. American readers coming to this novel will find it a vibrant and descriptive primer illuminating the various forces in contemporary Egypt that affect its current political climate. It is also a thoughtful analysis of why certain forces are as influential as they are today.
THE WINTER VAULT by Anne Michaels. Book review. Eleven years after the publication of Fugitive Pieces, her only other novel (and winner of the Orange Prize), Anne Michaels has published a monumental philosophical novel which is also exciting to read for its characters and their conflicts.
April 21, 2009
¬∑ Judi Clark ¬∑ 3 Comments
Tags: Dam, Environmental, Knopf, Real Event Fiction ¬∑ Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Egypt, Facing History, Literary, Reading Guide, World Lit, y Award Winning Author