Other books byAhdaf Soueif
Memoir of a City Transformed
From the best-selling author of The Map of Love: a many-faceted, galvanizing firsthand account of the Egyptian revolution that is as well a thoughtful, passionate appraisal of what the future holds for Cairo, for Egypt, and for the Egyptian people. When thousands of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square after the eruption of the revolution on January 25, 2011, Ahdaf Soueif was among them. Now, in this deeply felt, vivid narrative, she writes of the passion, confusion, and violence that filled Cairo for eighteen days before the triumphant overturning of the corrupt Mubarak regime. And contrasted against the revolution, Soueif recalls peaceful mornings spent in Cairo with her mother, and the many memories she has of growing up in Egypt, a country whose importance is at the heart of her family's life. With a novelist's eye for detail and story, the perspective of a Cairo native, and the insight of someone who was on the ground during the first days of the revolution, Soueif gives us a personal, uniquely illuminating picture of an event watched by the world. This updated edition includes new material that considers Egypt's most recent turns, from the elections to the dissolution of Parliament to the first hundred days of Muhammad Morsi's presidency over a nation reborn.
The Map of Love
Booker Prize Finalist "Sweeping and evocative--. An unconventional love story."--The Times (London) With her first novel, In the Eye of the Sun, Ahdaf Soueif garnered comparisons to Tolstoy, Flaubert, and George Eliot. In her latest novel, which was shortlisted for Britain's prestigious Booker Prize, she combines the romantic skill of the nineteenth-century novelists with a very modern sense of culture and politics--both sexual and international. At either end of the twentieth century, two women fall in love with men outside their familiar worlds. In 1901, Anna Winterbourne, recently widowed, leaves England for Egypt, an outpost of the Empire roiling with nationalist sentiment. Far from the comfort of the British colony, she finds herself enraptured by the real Egypt and in love with Sharif Pasha al-Baroudi. Nearly a hundred years later, Isabel Parkman, a divorced American journalist and descendant of Anna and Sharif has fallen in love with Omar al-Ghamrawi, a gifted and difficult Egyptian-American conductor with his own passionate politics. In an attempt to understand her conflicting emotions and to discover the truth behind her heritage, Isabel, too, travels to Egypt, and enlists Omar's sister's help in unravelling the story of Anna and Sharif's love. Joining the romance and intricate storytelling of A.S. Byatt's Possession and Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, Ahdaf Soueif has once again created a mesmerizing tale of genuine eloquence and lasting importance.
In the Eye of the Sun
Set amidst the turmoil of contemporary Middle Eastern politics, this vivid and highly-acclaimed novel by an Egyptian journalist is an intimate look into the lives of Arab women today. Here, a woman who grows up among the Egyptian elite, marries a Westernized husband, and, while pursuing graduate study, becomes embroiled in a love affair with an uncouth Englishman.
I Saw Ramallah
Winner of the prestigious Naguib Mahfouz Medal, this fierce and moving work is an unparalleled rendering of the human aspects of the Palestinian predicament. Barred from his homeland after 1967’s Six-Day War, the poet Mourid Barghouti spent thirty years in exile—shuttling among the world’s cities, yet secure in none of them; separated from his family for years at a time; never certain whether he was a visitor, a refugee, a citizen, or a guest. As he returns home for the first time since the Israeli occupation, Barghouti crosses a wooden bridge over the Jordan River into Ramallah and is unable to recognize the city of his youth. Sifting through memories of the old Palestine as they come up against what he now encounters in this mere “idea of Palestine,” he discovers what it means to be deprived not only of a homeland but of “the habitual place and status of a person.” A tour de force of memory and reflection, lamentation and resilience, I Saw Ramallah is a deeply humane book, essential to any balanced understanding of today’s Middle East.