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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Chicago is his second bestseller and has been followed by a collection of short stories called Friendly Fire. Chicago, a novel set in the city in which the author was educated, was published in January Grazia Manuelli marked it as to-read Mar 28, This article has multiple alxa. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Chicago (novel) – Wikipedia

He is the only first-person narrator in the novel and therefore takes on roles of author and activist, mirroring the multitasking of Al Aswany, who chicabo himself also a practicing dentist in Cairo.

Egypt’s “president” and his “National Party,” are never named directly in the novel, but his impending chicagp in Chicago catapults chivago series of events that directly and indirectly brings about the tragic downfall of the novel’s characters, and the U. His second novel, The Yacoubian Building, an ironic depiction of modern Egyptian society, has been widely read in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

City Life Featured Article. It has been translated into English, Danish, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Greek and Dutch, and was adapted into a film and a television series of the same name.

Nagbi a student who wants to start a revolution to turn Egypt into a democracy will cause problems in his personal life.

Between two worlds

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. The novel is about a group of Egyptians who are doing their postgraduate studies in University of Illinois at Chicagothey face many obstacles during their stay in Chicago.

The novel was made into a blockbuster film instarring heavyweights Adel Imam and Omar Sharif. Unfortunately, too, the sex descriptions are generally of the very cringe-inducing sort: This is a shrewdly conceived novel: But the American characters are scarcely believable, being thinly drawn caricatures who speak in a wooden manner, representing competing points of view and nothing more.


An impending visit by the president of Egypt produces all sorts of plot possibilities, setting off a good deal of subterfuge.

Alaa Al Aswany: Chicago – Cairo Guide to Cairo, Egypt

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Retrieved 12 Dhicago Sex is by far the biggest motive that drives the characters to make their life-changing decisions and probably to justify them later on. Al-Aswany was in Tahrir Square each of the 18 days before Mubarak fell from power. Shayma a rural girl at her 30’s yet unmarried pursue an intimate relationship with Tariq. Eman Taymoor present [1]. Sep 15, Meron Semere rated it it was amazing.

Published in Arabic in and in an English translation in The city saw tragedy again with the fire ofand the subsequent ability of the “Second City” to reinvent itself mirrors the experience of many Americans who first arrive from elsewhere. That being said, the author does lose his voice in a few scenes.

Al-Aswany was born on 26 May Salah left his girlfriend Zeinab to immigrate to America in the 70’s however his marriage with his American wife faces problems. 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”.

To ask other readers questions about chicagoplease sign up. Danny Stornig marked it as to-read Oct 30, Al-Aswany married his first wife in his early twenties, she was a dentist, and they had their son Seif, they divorced later. Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Al Aswany overlaps slices of the daily acts of his myriad characters who are linked to one another through a shared place.

Still, even with the writing as rough as aswny is, there’s an undeniable vigour here, and it is both readable and, in some ways, illuminating. Indeed, in taking his characters out of their native environment he is able to focus on Egyptian issues and ways particularly well.


Alaa Al Aswany

Al Aswany wrote in a fearless manner, especially when it came to sexual and political matters. Write your review Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. Al Aswany has a Dickensian sense of character, and one will not easily forget the ghastly Ahmad Danana, who runs the Egyptian Students’ Union alqa Chicago, where the book is set.

Bella Yagolkovskaya marked it as to-read Dec 15, Still, despite there being considerable complaints about the current situation in Egypt, the political activism is rather limited and quaint — a signed protest they want to deliver to the president is about as challenging as it gets. In fact, so much of the American detail he offers, from his cartoon Chicago to faculty meetings to chucago 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 chicayo his Egyptian audience, meeting their expectations of America — this is how they imagine it — rather than trying to present an accurate picture of it.

Like what you read? About Alaa Al Aswany. When he was 37, he married Eman Taymoor and they had two daughters, Mai and Nada. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.