Alaa Al Aswany, a dentist and opposition journalist in Cairo, broke onto the literary scene in with “The Yacoubian Building,” a novel. Chicago (Arabic: شيكاغو Shīkāgū) is a novel by Egyptian author Alaa-Al- Aswany. Published in Arabic in and in an English translation in The locale. chicago has 11 ratings and 2 reviews. Meron said: I loved this book! First of all it was amazing reading about the historical context of post 9/11 Americ.
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The funniest scene in the book is the encounter between Nagi and a prostitute that ends in mutual disappointment: The soap-opera plot includes one doctor losing his daughter to drug addiction, but everywhere sex is one of the big problems including in that case, where, of course, it was the bohemian artist-boyfriend hovel introduced the lass to hard drugs.
Chicago (novel) – Wikipedia
Bella Yagolkovskaya marked it as to-read Dec 15, The spectre of an embarrassing political protest, for example, excites the “arrogant and suspicious” Safwat Shakir, a sleazy government agent with a military background and one of the least likeable actors in Hovel Aswany’s motley troupe.
One storyline – in which an expatriate heart surgeon is asked to return to Egypt to save the life of a patient, who just happens to be the man who failed him at medical college solely on political grounds – is especially colourful.
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. 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.
Yet Al Aswany has his own magic. Danana stands in contrast to an appealing mathematician, Nagi Abd al-Samad, who reveals himself wonderfully in his journal, as when he writes: Published in Arabic in and in an English translation in Like Telegraph Books on Facebook.
Stefanie Sobelle writes about contemporary fiction for Words Without Borders, Bookforum, and a variety of other publications. Farouk Abdel Wahab Mustafa. The novel could do with a cast list.
Between two worlds
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. Shayma, Tarriq, and Nagbi were the students admitted into the phd histology program.
Life inAmerica, Nagi, is like American fruit: Nagi, whose sympathetically portrayed combination of radical politics and literary dreams must surely be close to Al Aswany’s heart; Shaymaa, a high-achieving but sexually gauche student with whom the incorrigibly bumptious general’s son Tariq has fallen in love; Danana, president of the Egyptian Student Union in America, and in the pay of his country’s secret police, who wields his power with obnoxious swagger and has managed to bag himself a wife from an affluent family.
Refresh and try again. Danana is the most compelling character in the book – a thug and a bully in the tradition of Chicago mobsters like Al Capone, someone who stands out from the swarming cast whose desperate, transforming lives Al Aswany depicts with wit, passion and moral ardour.
To ask other readers questions about chicagoplease sign up. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill’s life. Born inAlaa al-Aswany is a dentist and writer who has written prolifically for Egyptian newspapers on literature, politics aal social issues.
Her story is told with special poignancy. Receive Our Newsletter For news of readings, events and new titles. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.
Long before that, the American characters are short-shrifted, portrayed in general as either racist ignoramuses or, if they’re black or progressively minded, as victims of an enduringly racist and capitalist society.
This is a shrewdly conceived novel: Chris marked it as to-read Chicagp 30, Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Some unravel before he can tie them up, some are just abruptly and rather shockingly brought chiacgo an endand so this isn’t a satisfyingly rounded-off book. 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 chocago of the loyalty of the students and to transfer information about immigrant Copts.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Particularly appealing about the novel is the forthrightness with which Aswany addresses the issue of Egypt’s contemporary political corruption and decay; the name of the leader that’s at the rotting head of this administration, Hosni Mubarak, is never mentioned, but he is often and unmistakably referred to, and one of the central occurrences in the book is a state visit that takes him to Chicago.
Almost from the start both male and female characters are shown masturbating, watching pornography, or indulging in carnal dreams. Dr Salah, an Coptic Egyptian-American professor starts seeing a therapist after he faces a series of marital problems with his American wife Chris whom he appears to have married in order to obtain the US citizenship.
Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany – Telegraph
See 1 question about chicago…. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. This book tells the story of the men and women of Fighter Command who worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout Britain to thwart the Nazis. Open Preview See a Problem? In both novels, Al Aswany illustrates that the cruelties of domesticity marital infidelities, self-destructive children are inextricable from the brutalities of larger political forces—domestic and international.
Nagi Abd al-Samad, an Egyptian student at Illinois, engages in both histology and poetry. Is this an unreliable narrator as with The Reluctant Fundamentalist?
The cast of characters is a large one, and Chicago weaves together their various stories – too many of them, perhaps. Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world. Working here just means showing up.