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Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge

Ezzedine C. Fishere

On the eve of Salma’s twenty-first birthday, scattered friends and family converge on New York for a celebration organized by Darwish, her obstinate grandfather. Each guest’s journey to this fated gathering takes on an unexpected significan …continued

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No Road to Paradise

Hassan Daoud

In a small Lebanese village a disillusioned imam, diagnosed with terminal cancer, must face his demons. Having consented to an arranged marriage, he has found himself in a loveless union and lusts after another. To please his family, he too …continued

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The Baghdad Eucharist

Sinan Antoon

Displaced by the sectarian violence in the city, Maha and her husband are taken in by a distant cousin, Youssef. As the growing turmoil around them seeps into their household, a rare argument breaks out between the elderly Youssef and his y …continued

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The Open Door

Latifa al-Zayyat

February 1946: Cairo is engulfed by demonstrations against the British. Layla’s older brother Mahmud returns, wounded in the clashes, and the events of that fateful day mark a turning point in her life, an awakening to the world around her. …continued

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Menorahs and Minarets

Kamal Ruhayyim

After ten years in Paris, Galal returns to Cairo, where he finds a society in transformation. Egypt is Galal’s home, but he feels he no longer belongs there. He is caught between his two identities: his Jewish mother’s family are cosmopolit …continued

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The Book of Safety

Yasser Abdel Hafez

Khaled transcribes testimonies at the Palace of Confessions, a shadowy state-run agency situated in a respectable Cairo suburb. There he encounters Mustafa Ismail: a university professor turned master thief, who breaks into the homes of the …continued

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The Time-Travels of the Man Who Sold Pickles and Sweets

Khairy Shalaby

Ibn Shalaby, like many Egyptians, is looking for a job. Yet, unlike most of his fellow citizens, he is prone to sudden dislocations in time. Armed with his trusty briefcase and his Islamic-calendar wristwatch, he bounces uncontrollably thro …continued

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No Knives in the Kitchens of This City

Khaled Khalifa

In the once beautiful city of Aleppo, one Syrian family descends into tragedy and ruin. Irrepressible Sawsan flirts with militias, the ruling party, and finally religion, seeking but never finding salvation. She and her siblings and mother …continued

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Otared

Mohammad Rabie

2025: fourteen years after the failed revolution, Egypt is invaded once more. As traumatized Egyptians eke out a feral existence in Cairo’s dusty downtown, former cop Ahmed Otared joins a group of fellow officers seeking Egypt’s liberation …continued

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The Longing of the Dervish

Hammour Ziada

At the close of the nineteenth century, freed slave Bakhit is let out of prison with the overthrow of the Mahdist state in Sudan. On the brink of death, the memory of his beloved Theodora is all that has sustained him through seven years of …continued

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The Final Bet

Abdelilah Hamdouchi

When young and handsome Othman married Sofia—sophisticated, French, rich, and forty years his senior—he found his ticket out of a life of desperate poverty in the slums of Casablanca. But when Sofia is brutally murdered, the police quickly …continued

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A Beautiful White Cat Walks with Me

Youssef Fadel

Hassan makes a living in his native Marrakesh as a comic writer and performer, through his satirical sketches critical of Morocco’s rulers. Yet when he is suddenly conscripted into a losing war in the Sahara, and drafted to a far-flung dese …continued

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A Rare Blue Bird Flies with Me

Youssef Fadel

Spring, 1990. After years of searching in vain, a stranger passes a scrap of paper to Zina. It’s from Aziz: the man who vanished the day after their wedding almost two decades ago. It propels Zina on a final quest for a secret desert jail i …continued

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Time of White Horses

Ibrahim Nasrallah

Spanning the collapse of Ottoman rule and the British Mandate in Palestine, this is the story of three generations of a defiant family from the Palestinian village of Hadiya before 1948. Through the lives of Mahmud, chief elder of Hadiya, h …continued

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Whitefly

Abdelilah Hamdouchi

When a fourth corpse in three days washes up in Tangier with a bullet in the chest, Detective Laafrit knows this isn’t just another illegal immigrant who didn’t make it to the Spanish coast. The traffickers. The drug dealers. The smugglers. …continued

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The Televangelist

Ibrahim Essa

Meet Egypt’s top TV preacher Hatem el-Shenawi: a national celebrity revered by housewives and politicians alike for delivering Islam to the masses. Charismatic and quick-witted, he has friends in high places. But when he is entrusted with a …continued

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More fiction from AUC Press

The Hashish Waiter

Khairy Shalaby

Tucked away in a rundown quarter, just out of sight of fashionable downtown Cairo, a group of intellectuals gather regularly to smoke hashish in Hakeem’s den. The den is the center of their lives, both a refuge and a stimulus, and at the ce …continued

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Cairo Swan Song

Mekkawi Said

Cairo, Mother of the World, embraces millions—but some of her children make their home in the streets, junked up and living in the shadows of wealth and among the monuments that the tourists flock to see. Mustafa, a former student radical w …continued

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A Tunisian Tale

Hassouna Mosbahi

After ne’er-do-wells spread rumors about a widowed mother’s weak moral character among the people of a slum on the outskirts of Tunis that festers with migrants who have come to the metropolis from the heartland in search of a better life, …continued

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Women of Karantina

Nael Eltoukhy

Back in the dog days of the early twenty-first century a pair of lovebirds fleeing a murder charge in Cairo pull in to Alexandria’s main train station. Fugitives, friendless, their young lives blighted at the root, Ali and Injy set about re …continued

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Private Pleasures

Hamdy el-Gazzar

Private Pleasures describes the three-day sex, drink, and drug binge of a thirty-something newsreader in the back streets and crumbling apartments of his native Giza, that pullulating mass of humanity that, like an ugly sister, sits opposit …continued

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Dates on My Fingers

Muhsin al-Ramli

Saleem, fed up with all the violence, religiosity, and strict family hierarchies of his Iraqi village, flees to Spain to establish a new life for himself. But his lonely exile is turned upside down when he encounters his father, Noah, in a …continued

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The Woman from Tantoura

Radwa Ashour

Palestine. For most of us, the word brings to mind a series of confused images and disjointed associations—massacres, refugee camps, UN resolutions, settlements, terrorist attacks, war, occupation, checkered kuffiyehs and suicide bombers, a …continued

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The Lanterns of the King of Galilee

Ibrahim Nasrallah

In eighteenth-century Palestine, on the shores of Galilee’s Lake Tiberias, visionary political and military leader Dahir al-Umar al-Zaydani undertakes a journey toward the greatest aim anyone could hope to achieve in his day: the establishm …continued

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City of Love and Ashes

Yusuf Idris

Cairo, January 1952. Egypt is at a critical point in its modern history, struggling to throw off the yoke of the seventy-year British occupation and its corrupt royalist allies. Hamza is a committed young radical, his goal to build a secret …continued

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Murder in the Tower of Happiness

M.M. Tawfik

“When the first armchair smashed into the asphalt, Sergeant Ashmouni was at his usual spot on the median of the Nile Corniche, trapped by the road’s twin currents turbulently flowing forth to Maadi and back to Old Cairo. He was wiping the s …continued

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Papa Sartre

Ali Bader

After a failed study mission in France, Abd al-Rahman returns home to Iraq to launch an existentialist movement akin to that of his hero. Convinced that it falls upon him to introduce his country’s intellectuals to Sartre’s thought, he feel …continued

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The Heron

Ibrahim Aslan

One long winter night and the Cairo neighborhood of Kit Kat stands at a crossroads. Poised like herons fishing on the banks of the Nile, the characters of this novel wait and watch as opportunities swim by past their reach. Some gaze on as …continued

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Being Abbas el Abd

Ahmed Alaidy

“The millennial generation’s most celebrated literary achievement.”—Al-Ahram Weekly “The first glimmer of hope for a true fictional renaissance—an instantly rewarding read embraced by an unprecedented range of literary figures”—The Daily St …continued

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The Man from Bashmour

Salwa Bakr

Egypt in the ninth century ad: an Arab, Muslim ruling class governs a country of mostly Coptic-speaking Christians. After an exorbitant land tax imposed by the caliph’s governors sparks a peasant revolt, Budayr is dispatched to the marshlan …continued

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No One Sleeps in Alexandria

Ibrahim Abdel Meguid

This sweeping novel depicts the intertwined lives of an assortment of Egyptians—Muslims and Copts, northerners and southerners, men and women—as they begin to settle in Egypt’s great second city, and explores how the Second World War, start …continued

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The Zafarani Files

Gamal al-Ghitani

An unknown observer is watching the residents of a small, closely-knit neighborhood in Cairo’s old city, making notes. The college graduate, the street vendors, the political prisoner, the café owner, the taxi driver, the beautiful green-ey …continued

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Black Magic

Hamdy el-Gazzar

As a fourteen-year-old, Nasir was entranced by his father’s gift of a camera, finding in it the means both to possess beauty and to assert himself. Now a hack working for state television, Nasir meets Fatin, an independent woman older than …continued

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