Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

THE CAIRO AFFAIR by Olen Steinhauer

THE CAIRO AFFAIR takes place in Egypt and Libya during 2011 with flashbacks to Serbia in 1991. It is set during the period when the regimes of dictators Hosni Mubarek, Egyptian President and military commander from 1981 to 2011, and Muammar Gaddafi, a Libyan revolutionary and the de facto ruler of Libya for 42 years, came to a violent end. The revolutionary events of the “Arab Spring” brought to conclusion various repressive Arab governments. The “Arab Spring” is widely believed to have been instigated by dissatisfaction with the rule of local governments, though some have speculated that wide gaps in income levels may have had a hand as well. Numerous factors led to the protests, including issues such as dictatorship or absolute monarchy, human rights violations, political corruption, (demonstrated by Wikileaks’ diplomatic cables), extreme poverty, and a large percentage of educated, jobless and dissatisfied youth. The storyline of THE CAIRO AFFAIR, takes place around the above events…and the events are often current, which makes this novel more interesting.

March 19, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Africa, Egypt, Thriller/Spy/Caper, World Lit

THE MISTRESS OF NOTHING by Kate Pullinger

Winner of the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award, Pullinger’s 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.

March 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Egypt, Facing History, y Award Winning Author

CAIRO MODERN by Naguib Mahfouz

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’s 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 “the principles that God Almighty has decreed,” 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 “rich folks and major families.”

December 28, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Classic, Egypt, Nobel Prize for Literature, Satire, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

MORNING AND EVENING TALK by Naguib Mahfouz

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: , ,  · Posted in: Egypt, Literary, Nobel Prize for Literature, Translated, Unique Narrative, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING by Alaa Al Aswany

THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING is a true literary blockbuster—“the best-selling novel in the Middle East for two years and the inspiration for the biggest budget movie ever produced in Egypt,” 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.

July 16, 2009 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Egypt, Literary, Middle East, World Lit

THE WINTER VAULT by Anne Michaels

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: , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Egypt, Facing History, Literary, Reading Guide, World Lit, y Award Winning Author