War in the land of Egypt /
Yusuf al-Qaʼid ; translated by Olive and Lorne Kenney, and Christopher Tingley.
lst American ed.
New York : Interlink Books, 1998.
192 p.
1566562279 (pbk.)
More Details
series title
New York : Interlink Books, 1998.
1566562279 (pbk.)
general note
"A PROTA book."
Originally published in Arabic: al-Ḥarb fī barr Miṣr. Beirut : Dār Ibn Rushd, 1978.
catalogue key
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-09-01:
Interesting experiments with form are characteristic of the best contemporary fiction from the Middle East. The present novel, first published in Beirut in 1978 by a prominent Egyptian writer, is told by multiple narrators. This technique is not new to Egyptian fiction (see, e.g., Miramar, by Naguib Mahfouz, 1967), but Qu'ayd uses it in a relatively new way. Instead of going over story material already presented by another character, each narrator in this novel advances the narrative without going over old ground. Only one character has a name, giving an allegorical cast to the book. The named character, Masri (meaning "Egyptian"), could represent Egypt itself; others stand for familiar social types: the rich, corrupt village headman; the impoverished peasant; and corrupt officials at various levels. The tale has a tragic inevitability about it, driving toward a conclusion that the less powerful but somewhat more honorable characters cannot prevent. Mercifully unencumbered with explanatory footnotes, the translation captures perfectly a tone of seriousness tinged with irony. An afterword by Fedwa Malti-Douglas sets this outstanding novel in its literary and social context. Recommended for all collections of world literature. W. L. Hanaway emeritus, University of Pennsylvania
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Choice, September 1998
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