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 novel was criticized by many Arab readers due to intensive description of the sexual life of nearly every character. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill’s life.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany | Books | The Guardian

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.

Mihaela rated it really liked it Jul 08, Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The novel could do with a cast list.

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. In the mix of characters living in the building one found, for instance, an extravagant playboy, a gay intellectual, and a devout Islamic fundamentalist.

Book Reviews

His remarkable gift for narrative momentum sustains Chicago. Bella Yagolkovskaya marked it as to-read Dec 15, The essential gift book for any pet lover – real-life tales of devoted dogs, rebellious cats and other unforgettable four-legged friends. Fady Cyril rated it liked it Oct 04, 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.


Sukhdev Sandhu sinks into a gripping, steamy and occasionally aswanl novel aseani one of Egypts movel writers.

Between two worlds

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Celebrating 40 years of Assilah Festival. Kari marked it as to-read Dec 29, I am finding it less than sincere.

It was an apartment block in downtown Cairo in The Yacoubian Building; in Chicago, cyicago the campus of the University of Illinois Medical Centre, where the author studied dentistry in the Eighties.

His second novel, The Yacoubian Building, an ironic depiction of modern Egyptian society, has been widely read in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. The funniest scene in the book is the encounter between Nagi and a prostitute that ends in mutual disappointment: Yet Al Aswany has his own magic. chivago

He writes, in the style of a Azwani entry by Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky, about the wretched fates of the Native American peoples who once flourished in Chicago. Menna marked it as to-read Jul 26, Her story is told with special poignancy.

Political allegiance and connexions still overwhelm merit, though Chicago does offer enough distance to allow some of the characters more leeway. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. A white professor is involved with a young black woman who cannot get herself hired and falls into the hands of an exploitative photographer. In fact, it is the government toady and informant, Ahmad Danana, the head of the Egyptian Student Union in America, who is by far the most interesting character — in no small part because he is mainly occupied with various machinations, instead of his studies, and Aswany isn’t particularly good on academic life but has fun ideas as far machinations go.

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This article has multiple issues. In fact, so much of the American detail he offers, from his cartoon Chicago to faculty meetings to decide whether a student should be admitted or not “Anyone who fulfills the requirements of the department is entitled to enroll” is definitely not the rule of thumb for the limited spots in American graduate school science departmentsis so wrong — and exactly wrong in the way one might expect an author who had read about a foreign country but never visited it to get it — that one has to suspect that Aswany who has studied in America is actually writing down to his Egyptian audience, meeting their expectations of America — this is how they imagine it — rather than trying to present an accurate picture of it.

Fatima Hasan rated it liked it Aug 18, Also it nocel the Hijab as reactionary due to aswain Wahhabi influence on Novsl.

Her job-seeking efforts are conducted exclusively through newspaper classifieds, and both her plight and her methods seem anachronistic and over-simplified.

This isn’t a novel designed for postcolonial theorists; it’s a rickety but surprisingly forceful engine for social change. The multiplicity of those stories is very much to the point: There are writers and there are storytellers. Political activism also crops up repeatedly, from nvoel cruelly powerful representatives of the government who try to nkvel all into quiet obeisance to those who look for opportunities to oppose the Egyptian powers that be.