The author of the highly acclaimed The Yacoubian Building returns with a story of love, sex, friendship, hatred, and ambition set in Chicago, with a cast of. The novelist Alaa Al Aswany places his emigré characters in post-9/11 Chicago. Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. Sukhdev Sandhu. AM BST 07 Sep Sukhdev Sandhu sinks into a gripping, steamy and occasionally soapy novel.

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Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. This article has multiple issues. The picture of Islamic culture that this book paints is perhaps, from an American perspective, the most interesting aspect of the book.

On campus at the University of Illinois medical centre, Egyptian and American lives cross over; slide alongside, and eventually collide – in spectacular fashion. Still, despite there being considerable complaints about the current situation in Egypt, the political activism is rather limited and quaint — a signed protest they want to deliver to the president is about as challenging as it gets.

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One person found this helpful. A complete edition of John James Audubon’s world famous The Birds of America, bound in linen and beautifully presented in a special slipcase. Aswany spins a decent story, most of the way, and he spins and juggles quite a few here. His second novel, The Yacoubian Building, an ironic depiction of modern Egyptian society, has been widely read in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

The theme of political repression is interesting in light of last year’s Arab Spring and the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs. Menna marked it as to-read Jul 26, To juggle around so many characters, and to make their paths intersect without the novel descending into a soap opera, is a task that Al Aswany takes on with only fitful success. Grazia Manuelli marked it as to-read Mar 28, The cast of characters is a large one, and Chicago weaves together their various stories – too many of them, perhaps.


That compulsively readable book, which became a massive bestseller in Arabic, focused on a once grand but now decaying building in central Cairo; it was set during the Gulf war and offered a microcosm of Egyptian society.

Between two worlds

The writing is interesting and fast moving. Nagbi a student who wants to start a revolution to turn Egypt into a democracy will cause problems in his personal life. Working here just means showing up. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. It was an apartment block in downtown Cairo in The Yacoubian Building; in Chicago, it’s the campus of the University of Illinois Medical Centre, where the author studied dentistry in the Eighties. The novel is about a group of Egyptians who are doing their postgraduate studies in University of Illinois at Chicagothey face many obstacles during their stay in Chicago.

Yet his new novel, Chicago: Please help to establish ala by citing xl secondary sources that are independent of the topic and provide significant coverage of it wlaa a mere trivial mention.

Ibticem Tlili added it Jun 05, There are some nice zingers against current Egyptian conditions, including: But the American characters are scarcely believable, being thinly drawn caricatures who speak in a wooden manner, representing competing points of view and nothing more. It has been translated into English, Danish, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Greek and Dutch, and was adapted into a film and a television series of the same name.

The end of the novel, too, is an orgy of cliffhangers, bloodletting and melodrama. Alaa Al Aswany is definitely, defiantly, a storyteller. The multiplicity of those stories is very much to the point: Shayma a rural girl at her 30’s yet unmarried pursue an intimate relationship with Tariq. Showing of 51 reviews. Please try again later. He offers vivid histories for these various conflicts, beginning with the Algonquins who lived as farmers in Chicago until settlers arrived in the late seventeenth-century and massacred them in the name of God: Amazon Music Stream millions of songs.

Their storylines are connected through the Department of Histology at the University asdany Illinois, and histology—the microscopic study of cross-sections of biological tissues—offers a fitting analogy for Al Aswany’s narrative technique: Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands.


The Students are completely controlled by their colleague who is leading the Students’ Union Of Egyptians in United States, He is the Secretary General of the Youth Committee of the ruling party in Egypt and he is cooperating with the Egyptian Intelligence Agency to make sure of the loyalty of the students and to transfer information about immigrant Copts.

You have to be Egyotain to really understand the nuances of every word, move, thought, gesture.

chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

Since the publication of his qlaa debut The Yacoubian BuildingHcicago Al Aswany has become one of Egypt’s most celebrated writers, a vocal opponent to the corruption and nepotism that have characterized President Mubarek’s regime. Almost from the start both male and female characters are shown masturbating, watching pornography, or indulging in carnal dreams.

Chicago isn’t a very good book, but there’s enough to it — and too few others like it from that region — to make it worthwhile.

Preview — chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. The House of the Spirits: Bella Yagolkovskaya marked it as to-read Dec 15, chicao It’s an explosive mix, with some end up with more than they bargained for. Sep 15, Meron Semere rated it it was amazing. Want to Read saving…. The novel was criticized by many Arab readers due to intensive description of the sexual life of nearly every character.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

Ultimately, Chicago is a truly brave work, and its translation offers Americans a provocative, vital perspective on the U. Is this an unreliable narrator as with The Reluctant Fundamentalist?

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Political allegiance and connexions still overwhelm merit, though Chicago does offer enough distance to allow some of the characters more leeway.