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Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge

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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  6,975 ratings  ·  1,204 reviews
On the eve of Salma's twenty-first birthday, friends and family travel to New York for a celebration reluctantly organized by her grandfather Darwish. As the guests make their way to the party, each journey takes on a greater significance than a simple trip to the city, as they find themselves examining their pasts, their relationships to one another, and to the country in ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 1st 2017 by Hoopoe Fiction (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  6,975 ratings  ·  1,204 reviews


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This novel was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction way back in 2012, and now it’s finally out in a sharp, (darkly) funny translation from John Peate. A novel told in eight stories as people head to a birthday party of a girl who won’t be there, hosted by a man most of them don’t like (and for good reason), it’s a story of the missed connections, failed relationships, and dropped calls of Arabs in America. It also has the first 9/11-sympathizer character that I really belie ...more
Nahla
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book.. This kind of novels or writing in general is my favorite, the one the focuses on the inside endless thoughts and mixed emotions that can rush in a very short time provoked by one single incident or the other.. The one that focuses on the subconscious rather than the " current " events that take place.. Brought to mind Virgina Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway..

What I also liked is the fact that the book is not revolving around one character, it has a frame being " The Dinner " t
...more
Eva
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Angela Martinez
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting novel, and each story was captivating, especially because I could empathize so much with the emotions and struggles of all the characters, as an immigrant to the US, from my experience living in Egypt, and just from the basic struggles we face as humans. Each account was well written, but the narrative could have definitely been more lively.

Two great drawbacks for me were the lack of connection between the individual stories and the missing resolution. On the first p
...more
Travel Writing
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
The story started with such depth and richness- I was so excited to see where it would go. Each chapter was the experience and small slice of history of a guest coming to the birthday party of the granddaughter of the host. The host was a curmudgenly grandfather, who was also a revered and feared Professor of Middle Eastern Studies in NY. He also was dying of cancer, which no one knows.

Each story/chapter descended into trope and stereotype. The book is short, so the slide from "Wow!" to WTF? was
...more
The RK
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
The main fault of this book was its ending, which seemed to go nowhere. Otherwise, through most of it I was thinking 'what an interesting idea for a novel'. Short chapters telling the stories of each of the invited guests to a dinner party. The plot either didn't hold together in the end, or I just didn't understand it. I would still recommend the book though - a novel depicting the lives of different Egyptian emigrants to the US. ...more
Raghda
Aug 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have seriously never been disappointed in a book more than I was disappointed in this one!
Seriously my first impression after finishing this book was: is my copy missing pages?! Terribly truncated at the end. The author needs to realize the fine line between writing an open end to a novel, and not bothering to write an end at all! God! I so regret the time I wasted reading this book!
Yasmine Hamed
2 stars because of the ending. I loved everything else but the ending really was frustrating..
Kang-Chun Cheng
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
wonderfully developed characters, nuanced plot, unexpected twists
Salma
Sep 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
BORING! Couldn't finish it. ...more
Besma Boukaboub
didn,t like the end :/
Safinaz Sadek
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an amazing writer & great novel 😍😍
Mahmoud Bary
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
short, shocking and cruel. just like life.
Hiba
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Why did it have to end that way? Why, just freaking why??
Sonya
Read for my class on understanding the middle east through literature. The story is told in 8 chapters, each an Egyptian visiting the US or an Egyptian American; some assimilated and happy living in New York/DC/Chicago, others not so content. Each chapter tells a different story, all heading to Salma's birthday party in Manhatten at Uncle Darwish's house -- a retiring professor from an unnamed NY university. Each story is never quite completed. Each chapter is very stand alone and unfinished. Ju ...more
س
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shortlisted for the 2012 Arab Booker Prize, "Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge" tells the story of cosmopolitan Arabs living in the US. Daoud is preparing a dinner party in new York for his granddaughter who is turning 21. Each of the chapters is told from the perspective of one of the guests as they make their way to the party. And through their eyes is the complex mosaic of experiences of being an exiled Arab in post-9/11 America. This is a comfortable read. Izz al-Deen Shukri Fashir writes in an eas ...more
Ayat
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually; Though I have learnt alotttt from Dr. Darwish's way of life & touched by how he will end up his life alone, since he never gave an ear to anyone & always hire himself a judge,

As well as, I totallyyyyy loved the Forbidden love story between Salma's father & Marique & again get touched with all the human vulnerabilities their relation has passed through!!

In addition, I totally liked how 'Fisher' had best described USA's FAKE Freedom & Liberty calls..

Yet, I am very disappointed by the en
...more
Michael Yacoub
This is one of the best things I've ever read.
It kind of lacks a plot, and I feel like it wasn't "ended," but it's so good that I don't even care. The author went so deep into the characters that by just reading their words, and how they speak, you get a full idea about who they are. Also, throughout the novel, you wouldn't help but relate to the characters, you know them, either they represent you, or someone you know. It's written beautifully as well, and it's so mixed that you cannot "genre"
...more
Amira
It was okay. Not too bad. Started out really well and then I got a bored towards the end and then last chapter a bit.. mmm... strange?
But having said that, it's actually not that bad. A lot of character types and interesting experiences, but not really, not essentially, a novel. I would have expected things to come together somehow in the end.

...more
Lamees
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved it although I dont like open endings,but it denotes some optimistic possibilities. It is very interesting and attractive, I was sad when I finished it, I did not want it to finish. With every character depicted, one should pause during reading to think and to compare himself with them.
Nadin Soliman
اول مره اقرا له و كنت اريد ان اعطيها 4 لولا النهاية ال...شريرة!



the question of the novel is: Am i a "halfie"? even if i lived all my life here?

Will definitely read more of his books isAllah :)

...more
Bassant Salah
i really found it amazing novel for any one to read.the most character i loved was salma and how she struggled between her mother and her grandma but eventually i was so happy to read this novel because i think it is areal one and presents all types of people.
Nina G
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the book name and cover gives you the feeling that this is aromantic story,

but in fact its a very contradicting story about the life of Expatriates, and how do they find their ways,

i loved the writer style, didn't get the end. what does it means or indicates.

i hate open endings
...more
Hadeel Elbitar
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
I sure liked it <3 although I hate sad endings :( but it really touched me in some lines :)
Amr
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mai
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is really great ..iguess any one read this book wil find a character representing him in it ..
Inji
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My least favourite book for him yet. Was too fragmented for my taste with the last two characters almost force-fitted into the book with no clear nor logical connection. A disappointment.
Karim Momtaz
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, full of feelings and different point of views. I rated it with 4 stars as I do hate the open endings. I'll be reading all Ezz El Dine Shoukry's Novels. ...more
Mayo Oora
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it took my breath away at its end :-(
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