Middle East/North African Lit discussion

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2020- 2021 challenge > 8. Nominations for books from Egypt

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message 1: by Niledaughter (last edited Apr 25, 2020 12:41PM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2760 comments Mod
Here is a list of the books we read from Egypt so far:
Whatever Happened to the Egyptians?: Changes in Egyptian Society from 1950 to the Present
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Yacoubian Building
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Zaat
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Specters
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Tent
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Cairo: My City, Our Revolution
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Moon Over Samarqand
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Map of Love
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

No One Sleeps in Alexandria
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Brooklyn Heights
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

In the Eye of the Sun
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The literary atlas of Cairo: One Hundred Years on the Streets of the City
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Diary of a Country Prosecutor
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Harafish
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Man from Bashmour: A Modern Arabic Novel
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Sunset Oasis
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Birds of Amber
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Distant View of a Minaret and Other Stories
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Khan Al-Khalili
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Automobile Club of Egypt
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Vertigo
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

The Open Door
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

**Please share your recommendations in here.


message 3: by Jalilah (last edited Jan 20, 2020 07:20AM) (new)

Jalilah | 757 comments I would really like to read something similar to Latifa Zayyat's Open Door. I had a look at it seems that she does not have any other books translated into English. Please correct me if I am mistaken. I loved this book for so many reasons, the writing style, the historical aspect, the fact that the novel was written by a woman about a young woman coming of age.
I want to read something where the women are not just side characters and are not portrayed in stereotypical ways: the good girl, the scheming wife, the evil dancer, etc.

Does anyone have any recommendations?


message 4: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 611 comments Mod
Yeah, it's a great book! I don't know of any book exactly like it, but similar authors are Radwa Ashour and Emily Nasrallah (you could read Ashour's The Journey: Memoirs of an Egyptian Woman Student in America for history and perspective and great writing, but it's not a novel, or you could check out novels or short stories by Nasrallah).


message 5: by Niledaughter (last edited Jan 21, 2020 03:41AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2760 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "the fact that the novel was written by a woman about a young woman coming of age.
I want to read something where the women are not just side characters and are not portrayed in stereotypical ways: the good girl, the scheming wife, the evil dancer, etc.

Does anyone have any recommendations?..."


One of the shocking ones is In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif and we read it in the group

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Oh ..I see you already started reading it and stopped ...I forgot


message 6: by Jalilah (last edited Sep 06, 2021 11:32AM) (new)

Jalilah | 757 comments Niledaughter wrote: "Jalilah wrote: "..
One of the shocking ones is In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif and we read it in the group
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
Oh ..I see you already started reading it and stopped ...I forgot
."


Yes at the time there were several people in my life with cancer and as well I'd recently lost a cousin I was very close to cancer, so for this reason I did not feel like reading about it.
I just read the linked thread and if the scenes with cancer are not in the entire book, I might be able to read it now.

That said, although I found Map of Love deeply moving, Ahdaf Soueif's writing is quite different from Latifa Zayyat's. I really enjoyed and appreciate the clarity and flow of Open Door.
Did she only write that novel?

I have read several books from Radwa Ashour. I loved Granada. I did not like Siraaj: An Arab Tale quite as much, but it was still good.
Is there a particular book by her anyone can recommend?


message 7: by Niledaughter (last edited Jan 21, 2020 11:05AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2760 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "Latifa Zayyat's. I really enjoyed and appreciate the clarity and flow of Open Door.
Did she only write that novel?.."


I see there is other books available in English
The Owner of the House
The Search: Personal Papers

Jalilah wrote: "I have read several books from Radwa Ashour. I loved Granada. I did not like Siraaj: An Arab Tale quite as much, but it was still good.
Is there a particular book any by her anyone can recommend..."


I was planning to read The Woman from Tantoura for the Palestinian conflict category. by the way, do you know that Radwa was married to the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti ?
Speaking of In the Eye of the Sun as a semi biography of Ahdaf Soueif, Soueif who was a close friend of the couple portrayed their marriage in it. Ashour was affected with the Palestinian conflict on the personal level.

We read Specters for Radwa Ashour in the group if you would like to check the discussion:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 8: by Jalilah (last edited Jan 21, 2020 01:26PM) (new)

Jalilah | 757 comments Thanks for all the recommendations!
When I looked I did not see the two titles you mentioned that are in English!
My library doesn't have them, but I can always try an interlibrary loan.
I remember now I only read a little of Specters, but found it difficult to get into steam of consciousness style. In any case it was not what I was in the mood for at that time.
Blue Lorries looks interesting!


message 9: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2760 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "Thanks for all the recommendations!
When I looked I did not see the two titles you mentioned that are in English!
My library doesn't have them, but I can always try an interlibrary loan.
I remembe..."


You are welcome! I hope you will like it :)

####
Melanie wrote: "Yeah, it's a great book! I don't know of any book exactly like it, but similar authors are Radwa Ashour and Emily Nasrallah (you could read Ashour's [book:The Journ..."

I do not think we read for Emily Nasrallah before in the group.
I will try to add a summary of the book discussion we had from Egypt ....some time in the future :D


message 10: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2760 comments Mod
I updated the list of the books we read from Egypt so far in the first two messages .


message 11: by Richard (new)

Richard | 15 comments Just finished Revolution Is My Name: An Egyptian Woman’s Diary from Eighteen Days in Tahrir by Mona Prince and I loved it. I know Mona and all her honesty, humour and frankness comes through in this account of events in Tahrir Square in 2011.
Mona pulls no punches and it is a very personal account. She doesn’t try to make it a journalistic or historical account but rather goes for capturing the atmosphere and the human interactions that she experienced. The sometimes tense and evolving interactions between Mona and her family are unflinchingly recorded and echo conversations that would have been held across Cairo. Equally enlightening and entertaining are the asides that the author or her fellow protesters make during various political announcements.
There is a map to help anyone unfamiliar with downtown Cairo that shows the key locations mentioned in the text. It would have been a bonus if there could have been some photographs to illustrate the events in the book but overall this is a wonderful read.


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