Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? As in that novel, Al Aswany dissects modern Egyptian society and reveals with skill and detachment the hypocrisy, violence and abuse of power characteristic of a world in moral crisis. Here, though, the focus has shifted from the broad historical canvas to the minute stitches of pain that hold together an individual, a family, a school classroom, or the relationship between a man and a woman. Can a man so alienated from his society that he regards all its members as no better than microbes wriggling under a microscope survive within it? Can cynical religiosity triumph over human decency?
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Qty :. As in that novel, Al Aswany dissects modern Egyptian society and reveals with skill and detachment the hypocrisy, violence, and abuse of power characteristic of a world in moral crisis. Here, though, the focus has shifted from the broad historical canvas to the minute stitches of pain that hold together an individual, a family, a school classroom, or the relationship between a man and a woman. Can a man so alienated from his society that he regards all its members as no better than microbes wriggling under a microscope survive within it? Can cynical religiosity triumph over human decency?
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It was printed and distributed free of charge to critics and friends at the personal expense of the author. You would think that any author who made such an inauspicious entry onto the literary stage would be destined to spend the rest of his writing career in literary limbo, where authors have to be content with the acclamation of a small circle of admirers and their ambitions reach no further than print-on-demand publications. The Yacoubian Building made Alaa Al Aswany a legend in more ways than one: not only because his X-ray image of the tenement house in the book's title provided a panorama of Egyptian fates that the country's politicians and guardians of public morals would prefer to see hidden behind solid walls, but also because the author has the discipline to continue dividing his working hours between the writing desk and the dentists' chair. The phrase "I would wish I were an Egyptian if I weren't one already", a quote attributed to the nationalist Mustafa Kamil Pasha, opens the "The Isam Abd el-Ati Papers", the most weighty text in this early collection of short stories. It is quickly and thoroughly taken apart by the protagonist of the story in a vitriolic diatribe against all things Egyptian. It is no wonder, therefore, that the collection made the gentlemen of the Egyptian Book Organisation, to whom Alaa Al Aswany sent his manuscript in , nervous the comical negotiations between the author and the civil servants are recorded in detail by the author in the book's foreword. The publisher was afraid that publication of the short stories could land him in prison.