The author of the highly acclaimed The Yacoubian Building returns with a story of love, sex, friendship, hatred, and ambition set in Chicago, with a cast of. The novelist Alaa Al Aswany places his emigré characters in post-9/11 Chicago. Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. Sukhdev Sandhu. AM BST 07 Sep Sukhdev Sandhu sinks into a gripping, steamy and occasionally soapy novel.

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I haven’t read any criticism of it, and it was recommended to me by a trusted reader not on this site Ed King reviews Chicago. Although some figures have funny and ilarious features and some anectodes are very sarcastic, above all there is compassion for the people a,aa for their lifes on the bridge between America and Egypt.

Chicago (novel) – Wikipedia

Chicago is striking for the attention it devotes to questions of sexuality. As his new wife soon discovers, he has miserly and selfish tendencies. Retrieved from ” https: Bianca marked it as to-read Sep 29, Ibticem Tlili added it Jun 05, The locale of the Novel is University of Illinois at Chicago where the writer did his postgraduate studies.

To these Egyptians abroad the novelist adds a small group of Americans, mostly professors in the department of histology. The men are usually sex-obsessed, dishonest and brutal, and the women are often engaged in unrealistic fantasy. The focus on women’s pleasure, seen most clearly in a long ode to the political value of using a vibrator, challenges the authority of a patriarch such as Danana, who not only distorts the Koran the more cruelly to lord it over his wife, but is willing to pimp her out to an Egyptian state torturer.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

Danana is the most compelling character in the book – a thug and a bully in the tradition of Chicago mobsters like Al Capone, someone who stands out from the swarming cast whose desperate, transforming lives Al Aswany depicts with wit, passion and moral ardour.

Alnajjar Latifa added it Jun 26, 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.


Preview — chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. If Mubarak allowed this intensely critical novel to be published in Egypt, it doesn’t surprise me that he lost his grip on power. This is a shrewdly conceived novel: The Students are completely controlled by their colleague who is leading the Students’ Union Of Egyptians in United States, He is the Secretary General of the Youth Committee of the ruling party in Egypt and he is cooperating with the Egyptian Intelligence Agency to make sure of the loyalty of the students and to transfer information about immigrant Copts.

Life inAmerica, Nagi, is like American fruit: Al Aswany was a student in Chicago in the eighties, and there are times when his descriptions are somewhat dated.

Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? The 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.

The picture of Islamic culture that chicag book paints is perhaps, from an American perspective, the most interesting aspect of the book.

Between two worlds

Learn more about Amazon Prime. You have to be Egyotain to really understand the nuances of every word, move, thought, gesture. Chicago, a novel set in the city in which the author was educated, was published in January Still, even with the writing as rough as it is, there’s an undeniable adwany here, and it is both readable and, in some ways, illuminating.

Mozher Jebri marked it as to-read Sep 10, Danana is president of the Student Union’s of Egyptians in America and quite involved with the admitted Egyptian students at the university. 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. On campus at the University of Illinois medical centre, Egyptian and American lives cross over; slide alongside, and eventually collide – in spectacular fashion.


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. I loved this book!

One storyline – in which an expatriate heart chiccago is asked to return to Egypt to save the life of a patient, who just happens to be the man who failed him at medical college solely on political grounds – is especially colourful. Then there are the students: I don’t want to take you from work.

Al Aswany has a Dickensian sense of character, and one will not easily forget the ghastly Ahmad Danana, who runs the Egyptian Students’ Union in Chicago, where the book is set.

Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. The multiplicity of those stories is very much to the point: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany | Books | The Guardian

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Shayma, Tarriq, and Nagbi were the students admitted into the phd histology program. A complete edition of John James Audubon’s world famous The Birds of America, bound in linen and beautifully presented in a special slipcase.

Yet Al Aswany has his own magic.

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