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Modern Egyptian Authors

LE

 
Short Description: Being Abbas el Abd, A Dog with no tail, Cairo Swan Song
Authors : Ahmed Alaidy, Hamdi Abu Golayyel, Mekkawi Said
  • Publisher: American University Press Cairo
  • Pages:
  • Hard Cover: False
  • ISBN:
  • Publishing Date: 2009


1. Being Abbas al Abd - The millennial generation’s most celebrated literary achievement.”—Al-Ahram Weekly “The first glimmer of hope for a true fictional renaissance—an instantly rewarding read embraced by an unprecedented range of literary figures”—The Daily Star What is madness?” asks the narrator of Ahmed Alaidy’s jittery, funny, and angry novel. Assuring readers that they are about to find out, the narrator takes us on a journey through the insanity of present-day Cairo—in and out of minibuses, malls, and crash pads, navigating the city’s pinball machine of social life with tolerable efficiency. But lurking under the rocks in his grouchy, chain-smoking, pharmaceutically-oriented, twenty-something life are characters like his elusive psychiatrist uncle with a disturbing interest in phobias. And then there’s Abbas, the narrator’s best friend who surfaces at critical moments to drive our hero into uncontrollably multiplying difficulties. For instance, there’s the ticklish situation with the simultaneous blind-dates Abbas has set up for him on different levels of a coffee-shop in a Cairo mall with two girls both called Hind. With friends like Abbas, what paranoiac needs enemies? 2. A dog with no tail - 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 3. Cairo Swan Song - Cairo, Mother of the World, embraces millions—but some of her children make their home in the streets, junked up and living in the shadows of wealth and among the monuments that the tourists flock to see. Mustafa, a former student radical who never believed in the slogans, sets out to tell their story, but he has to rely on the help of his American girlfriend, Marcia, who he is not sure he can trust. Meanwhile, his former leftist friends are now all either capitalists or Islamists. Alienated from a corrupt and corrupting society, Mustafa watches as the Cairo he cherishes crumbles around him. The men and women of the city struggle to find lovers worthy of their love and causes worthy of their sacrifice in a country that no longer deserves their loyalty. The children of the streets wait for the adults to take notice. And the foreigners can always leave. Mekkawi Said was born in Cairo in 1955. His first collection of short stories appeared in 1981, and since then he has produced four more. His first novel won the Suad Sabbah Arab Creativity Prize in 1991. Cairo Swan Song, his second novel, was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (the ‘Arabic Booker’) in 2008. Adam Talib, an alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles and the American University in Cairo, is pursuing a doctorate in Arabic literature at Oxford.