Cigarette Number Seven

Donia Kamal
Translated by Nariman Youssef


As a child, Nadia was left with her grandparents in Egypt, while her mother sought work in the Gulf. Decades later, she looks back on her fragmented childhood from an uncertain present: it is 2011 and the streets have erupted in an unexpected revolution. Her activist father, the sole anchor in her life, encourages her to be a part of the protests and so Nadia joins the sit-in at Tahrir Square.

Donia Kamal’s succinct, candid prose draw us into Nadia’s world: from the private to the public; from the men she has loved and lost, to her participation in the momentous events of the Egyptian revolution. Stunning in its simplicity, Cigarette Number Seven is a deeply intimate novel about family and relationships in turbulent times.


“A carefully paced novel . . . [its] narrative is rooted in history, making for a captivating read.”
—Arab News

“Kamal is a welcome voice . . . her artistry on the page, translated expertly by Youssef, rings as true as it is enlightening. This book is a bull’s-eye.”
—Words Without Borders



Donia Kamal

Donia Kamal is an Egyptian novelist and producer. Cigarette Number Seven is her second novel, and she has also produced more than fifty documentary films and numerous television shows for various Arab networks. She currently lives between Egypt and the UAE.

Nariman Youssef is an Egyptian translator and researcher working primarily in Arabic and English. She currently lives in London, where she is partly based at the British Library.

Find out more
  • December 25th 2017
  • $17.95 / £9.99 / LE200
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9789774168505

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