Saturday, 4 April 2020

#WorldReads ~ Five Books From Egypt

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month (or the 4th this month!) I highlight five books I have read by authors from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries' posts at the end of this post as well as finding out how to join in the challenge. From May 2016 until March 2020, WorldReads was hosted on my Stephanie Jane blog. From April 2020 onwards it will be right here on Literary Flits

Click the book titles or cover images to visit their Literary Flits book review pages.

This month we are going to Egypt!



Map Of Love by Ahdaf Soueif

In 1900 Lady Anna Winterbourne travels to Egypt where she falls in love with Sharif, and Egyptian Nationalist utterly committed to his country's cause. A hundred years later, Isabel Parkman, an American divorcee and a descendant of Anna and Sharif, goes to Egypt, taking with her an old family trunk, inside which are found notebooks and journals which reveal Anna and Sharif's secret. 



In The Heart Of Cairo by Mahi Wasfy

When anti-bias educator, Mrs. Magda, becomes the new Theory of Knowledge teacher at the American School in Cairo, she is shocked to discover the ugly truth behind the school’s prestigious reputation. Despite the challenges and hostility she faces, Mrs. Magda is committed to achieving her career goal of transforming the environment at the school and making it truly bicultural. Although the school’s administration hired her to achieve just that, they realize her aspirations might be a bit too ambitious for their liking.

Meanwhile Maha, a senior at the school, just wants to have a drama-free and fun senior year – but gets exactly the opposite. She finds herself caught up in a divine storm where everything in her life goes wrong. Shattered dreams, melodramas, fallouts and love triangles are just a few of the issues she has to battle. Maha doesn’t know if she can handle the pressure and risks losing herself in her efforts not to be the class misfit.



Dilemma by Baheya Zeitoun

She is caught in the middle of a love triangle for the first time in her life, but only desires one man. As he grows distant, she seeks comfort in the unlikeliest places. All the while, trying to manage her uncertain financial situation and her career. It is a contemporary tale about a young writer and the struggles of independence in a 21st century metropolis.



American War by Omar El Akkad

2074. America's future is Civil War. Sarat's reality is survival. They took her father, they took her home, they told her lies ...

She didn't start this war, but she'll end it.

Omar El Akkad’s powerful debut novel imagines a dystopian future: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague and one family caught deep in the middle. In American War, we’re asked to consider what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons against itself.



The Greater Freedom by Alya Mooro

In this rallying cry to outsiders everywhere, Alya Mooro makes her peace with not fitting in.

Egyptian-born and London-raised, Alya Mooro grew up between two cultures and felt a pull from both. Where could she turn for advice and inspiration when it seemed there was nobody else like her? Today, Mooro is determined to explore and explode the myth that she must identify either as ‘Western’ or as one of almost 400 million other ‘Arabs’ across the Middle East.

Through countless interviews and meticulous research, as well as her own unique experience, Mooro gives voice to the Middle Eastern women who, like her, don’t fit the mould. Women under pressure to conform to society’s ideals of how a woman should look and behave, what she should want and be. Women who want to think and act and love freely, without feeling that every choice means ‘picking a side’. Women who are two things at once and, consequently, neither.

Part memoir, part social exploration, this is a book for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.


That's it for April's WorldReads from Egypt. I hope I have tempted you to try reading a book from this country and if you want more suggestions, click through to see all my Literary Flits reviews of Egyptian-authored books!


If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, I have already 'visited'

Africa: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, United States of America,

Asia: China, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Turkey

Australasia: Australia, New Zealand,

Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales

In May I will be highlighting five books by Rwandan authors. See you on the 5th to find out which ones!

4 comments:

  1. I've been fascinated by Egypt since I was a child and have always wanted to go there but I doubt I ever will get the chance. The Mummy is also one of my favourite films!

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    1. If you haven't already read it, you might also enjoy Harry Whitewolf's Egyptian travel memoir, The Road To Purification:
      http://litflits.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-road-to-purification-hustlers.html

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  2. I have to admit I have not ready that many books set in Egypt. I know I have read some... I know there are some that were thrillers. But not many! And I am curious about American War...

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    1. American War and The Map Of Love were my favourites of this five, and The Greater Freedom is a thought-provoking read

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