Catalogue


The house of jasmine /
by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid ; translated by Noha Radwan.
edition
1st American ed.
imprint
Northampton, MA : Interlink Books, 2012.
description
155 p. ; 21 cm.
ISBN
156656882X (pbk.), 9781566568821 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
added author
imprint
Northampton, MA : Interlink Books, 2012.
isbn
156656882X (pbk.)
9781566568821 (pbk.)
catalogue key
8861770
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2012-06-11:
Set in 1970s Alexandria, Egypt, Meguid's deeply satisfying new novel (after No One Sleeps in Alexandria) chronicles a brief but significant period in the life of Shagara Muhammad Ali. At the shipyard where he works, one of his duties is getting workers to cheer at official demonstrations for foreign dignitaries, including Richard Nixon. He pays the workers half of what was promised, participating in a small way in the country's rampant corruption. After work he plays backgammon in a cafe with friends and returns home to his widowed mother. There is political unrest in Egypt and Shagara is swept into a demonstration led by the charismatic Sayyid Birsho. But Shagara's main preoccupation lies outside politics: "I was on a quest for women, women's scents, sweat, lips, breasts, and I was thinking of buying a color television set in order to look at their warm flesh." When Shagara's friend, Hassanayn, gets married, Shagara is extremely impressed by his wife, Ibtihal, and soon realizes that happiness will only be realized by a marriage of his own. Meguid's novel is richly atmospheric and has a splendid sense of both place and time; readers not only observe the intricate lives of these characters, but feel as if they're sitting next to them at the cafe. Radwan's translation is especially fine. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, June 2012
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Summaries
Main Description
On June 13, 1974, Shagara, a low-level employee at the Alexandria shipyard, is charged with taking workers to cheer for the motorcade of Egyptian President Sadat and his guest President Nixon. Instructed to pay each worker half a pound at the end of Nixon's visit, Shagara pays them half that, spares them the festivities, and pockets the difference. So begins The House of Jasmine, which follows Shagara, a loner who yearns for female companionship, as he traverses the city of Alexandria and tries to parse his feelings towards its changing landscape.
Main Description
'On June 13, 1974, Shagara, a low-level employee at the Alexandria shipyard, is charged with taking workers to cheer for the motorcade of Egyptian President Sadat and his guest President Nixon. Instructed to pay each worker half a pound at the end of Nixon#146;s visit, Shagara pays them half that, spares them the festivities, and pockets the difference. So begins The House of Jasmine, which follows Shagara, a loner who yearns for female companionship, as he traverses the city of Alexandria and tries to parse his feelings toward its changing landscape. Within the humor of this classic novel is nestled an indicting eyewitness account of this essential period of Egyptian history. In it one can observe the social changes and popular sentiments that comprise the prologue for the Egyptian revolution of January 2011.

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