This powerful account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago. Nawal El Saadawi writes out of a powerful sense of the violence and injustice which permeated her society. Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, drove her to give voice to this suffering. She goes on explore the causes of the situation through a discussion of the historical role of Arab women in religion and literature.... continue
Behind the bar at Jameel's in Cairo hang two mugs engraved with the names of Ram and Font. During their years together in London, they drank many a pint of Bass from these mugs. But there is no Bass in Nasser's Egypt, so Ram and Font have to make do with a heady mixture of beer, vodka and whisky. Yearning for Bass they long to be far from a revolution that neither serves the people nor allows their rich aunts to live the life of leisure they are accustomed to. Stranded between two cultures, Ram and Font must choose between dangerous political opposition and reluctant acquiescence. First publis... continue
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • From the widely acclaimed, bestselling author of American War—a beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving novel that looks at the global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. "Told from the point of view of two children, on the ground and at sea, the story so astutely unpacks the us-versus-them dynamics of our divided world that it deserves to be an instant classic." —The New York Times Book Review More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another overfilled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk und... continue
Longlisted for the Orange Prize 2011 'Haunting' Telegraph 'A story for all the senses' Aminatta Forna 'A superb family epic . . . vivid, beautifully original' The Herald Set in 1950s Sudan, Lyrics Alley is the story of the powerful and sprawling Abuzeid dynasty. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, the family can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud's son, Nur - the brilliant, charming heir to his business empire - suffers a near-fatal accident, his hopes of university and a glittering future are dashed. Subsequently, his betrothal to his cousin and sweetheart, Soraya is broken off. As British rule is comin... continue
In British-occupied Egypt, on the eve of the 1952 revolution, respected landowner Abd el-Aziz Gaafar has fallen on hard times. Bankrupt, he moves his family to Cairo and takes a menial job at the Automobile Club, a luxurious lodge for its European members, where Egyptians appear only as fearful servants. When Abd el-Aziz’s pride gets the better of him and he stands up for himself, he is subjected to a corporal punishment that ultimately kills him—leaving two of his sons obliged to work in the Club. As the nation teeters on the brink of change, both servants and masters are subsumed by social u... continue
The narrator recalls a dark period from his childhood in which a brushfire and cholera outbreak wreaked havoc on the remote island on which he lived, leading the islanders to make sacrifices to the ocean's Saltwater King.