The Book of Safety

Yasser Abdel Hafez
Translated by Robin Moger


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 great and the good and then blackmails them into silence.

Mustafa has dedicated his existence to the perfection of his trade and authored The Book of Safety, the ultimate guide to successful thievery.

With cool and incisive prose, Yasser Abdel Hafez follows Khaled into obsession with this mysterious book and its author.

Robin Moger’s translation of The Book of Safety won the 2017 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.




"Thoroughly Orwellian in his treatment of dystopian, dysfunctional and downright dangerous politics, Yasser Abdel Hafez underpins the darker, more disturbing themes with a superbly clear-headed philosophical understanding and delivers the narrative with all the grip and tension of a bestselling crime novelist."—Paul Blezard, Banipal

"Moger’s skill is indisputable. He captures all the vibrancy and nuance of the original Arabic, never sacrificing the flow of the text."—Sci Sarhan, The Arab Weekly

"With cool and incisive prose, Yasser Abdel Hafez follows Khaled into obsession with this mysterious book and its author."—Marcia Lynx Qualey, Arabic Literature (in English) Blog

"Dystopic–philosophical crime–writing."—Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

"Orwellian."—Manal Shakir, Arab News



Yasser Abdel Hafez

Yasser Abdel Hafez is a journalist and novelist, and currently works as an editor at the literary magazine Akhbar al-Adab. His first novel On the Occasion of Life was longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. In 2014, he won the Sawiris Cultural Award for Established Writers for his novel The Book of Safety. He lives in Cairo.

Robin Moger is the translator of Otared by Mohammad Rabie and Women of Karantina by Nael Eltoukhy, among other books. His translation for Writing Revolution won the 2013 English PEN Award for outstanding writing in translation. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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  • March 1st 2017
  • $16.95 / £9.99 / LE200
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9789774168215

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