The novelist Alaa Al Aswany places his emigré characters in post-9/11 Chicago. 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. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany.

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One doctor still regrets having failed even to take futile steps decades earlier, while one student now takes some risks in trying to at least send a message to the present-day regime. He wrote a weekly literary critique entitled “parenthetic phrase” in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Sha’aband then became responsible for the culture page in the same newspaper.

This article needs additional citations for verification. The soap-opera plot includes one doctor losing his daughter to drug addiction, but everywhere sex is one of the big problems including in that case, where, of course, it was the bohemian artist-boyfriend that introduced the lass to hard drugs.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Vicki rated it liked it Oct 24, Chicago, a novel set in the city in which the author was educated, was published in January Political activism also crops up repeatedly, from the cruelly powerful representatives of the government who try to pressure all into quiet obeisance to those who look for opportunities to oppose the Egyptian powers that be.

Yet Al Aswany has his own magic. Al-Aswany was in Tahrir Square each of the 18 days before Mubarak fell from power.

Indeed, in taking his characters out of their native environment he is able to focus on Egyptian issues aswny ways particularly well. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Between two worlds

To ask other readers questions about chicagoplease sign up. Egyptian ArabicClassical Arabic. Al Aswany in I haven’t read any criticism of it, and it was recommended to me by a trusted reader not on this site Some unravel before he can tie them up, some are just abruptly and rather shockingly brought to an endand so this isn’t a satisfyingly rounded-off book.

There are also several break-ups here, and sex — often of the forced, or at least coerced variety — plays a role in some of them as well. The students that are admitted and the professors on the board lives collide into each other in Chicago.

Alaa Al Aswany

Open Preview See a Problem? This page was last edited on 19 Novemberat Retrieved 3 January Life inAmerica, Nagi, is like American fruit: Al-Aswany was deeply frustrated by this, as he rejected the idea of normalizing with Israeland accused the IPCRI and the translator of piracy and theft.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Is this an unreliable narrator as with The Reluctant Fundamentalist? 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.

It’s an effective story-telling technique, and along with the storylines he develops helps get over the relatively crude writing. A white professor is involved with a young black woman who cannot get herself hired and falls into the hands of an exploitative photographer.


Alaa Al Aswany’s “Chicago” – Words Without Borders

In the mix of characters living in the building one found, for instance, an extravagant playboy, a gay intellectual, and a devout Islamic fundamentalist. Trained as a dentist in Egypt and Chicago, it took him 9 years to earn his degree from Chicago National University where he spent 17 years in his life, al-Aswany has contributed numerous articles to Egyptian newspapers on literature, politics, and social issues.

It may not reach the heights of The Yacoubian Building, but it reveals a gifted novelist alsa mid-flight. Retrieved 12 March Al Aswany has a regular column in Egyptian newspaper El Shourouk.

chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

Among Al Aswany’s other memorable characters is Shaymaa Muhammadi, who is “over thirty, still unmarried because her position as instructor in the College of Medicine has greatly reduced her chances, since Eastern men usually prefer that their wives be less educated than they”.

And it’s even worse than that: Cnicago issues covered in the personal problems of the character include everything from the treatment of the Coptic minority in Egypt which forced one character to abandon the career he originally had hoped to pursue and the expectations of female virtue outside of marriage to the long reach of the Egyptian secret police. Also it described the Hijab as reactionary due to the Wahhabi influence on Egypt. Alaa Al-Aswany Egyptian Arabic: