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A Dog with No Tail

80 LE

Short Description: Winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, 2008
Authors : Hamdi Abu Golayyel
  • Publisher: American University Press Cairo
  • Pages: 160
  • Hard Cover: False
  • ISBN: 978 977 416 301 2
  • Publishing Date: 2009

In a world with no meaning, meaning is an act . . . This is a story about building things up and knocking them down. Here are the campfire tales of Egypt’s dispossessed and disillusioned, the anti-Arabian Nights. Our narrator, a rural immigrant from the Bedouin villages of the Fayoum, an aspiring novelist and construction laborer of the lowest order, leads us down a fractured path of reminiscence in his quest for purpose and identity in a world where the old orders and traditions are powerless to help. Bawdy and wistful, tragicomic and bitter, his stories loop and repeat, crackling with the frictive energy of colliding worlds and linguistic registers. These are the tales of Cairo’s new Bedouin, men not settled by the state but permanently uprooted by it. Like their lives, their stories are dislocated and unplotted, mapping out their quest for meaning in the very act of placing brick on brick and word on word. Hamdi Abu Golayyel was born in the Fayoum, Egypt, in 1967. He is the author of three short story collections and two novels, the first of which, Thieves in Retirement, was published in English in 2007. He is editor-in-chief of the Popular Studies series, which specializes in folklore research, and writes for the Emirates newspaper al-Ittihad. A Dog with No Tail was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2008. Robin Moger studied Egyptology and Arabic at Oxford, graduating with a first class degree in 2001. For six years he lived in Cairo, where he worked as a journalist for the Cairo Times, taking up translation during a short sojourn in New York. He currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa.