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Gate of the Sun is the first magnum opus of the Palestinian saga. After their country is torn apart in 1948, two men remain alone in a deserted makeshift hospital in the Shatila camp on the outskirts of Beirut. We enter a vast world of displacement, fear, and tenuous hope. Khalil holds vigil at the bedside of his patient and spiritual father, a storied leader of the Palestinian resistance who has slipped into a coma. As Khalil attempts to revive Yunes, he begins a story, which branches into many. Stories of the people expelled from their villages in Galilee, of the massacres that followed, of the extraordinary inner strength of those who survived, and of love. Khalil--like Elias Khoury--is a truth collector, trying to make sense of the fragments and various versions of stories that have been told to him. His voice is intimate and direct, his memories are vivid, his humanity radiates from every page. Khalil lets his mind wander through time, from village to village, from one astonishing soul to another, and takes us with him. Gate of the Sun is a Palestinian Odyssey. Beautifully weaving together haunting stories of survival and loss, love and devastation, memory and dream, Khoury humanizes the complex Palestinian struggle as he brings to life the story of an entire people.
"Alaa Al Aswany is among the best writers in the Middle East today, a suitable heir to the mantle worn by Naguib Mahfouz, his great predecessor." -Jay Parini, The Guardian (UK) From one of Egypt's most acclaimed novelists, here is a vivid chronicle of Egyptian society, with penetrating analysis of all the most urgent issues--economic stagnation, police brutality, poverty, the harassment of women and of the Christian minority, to name a few--that led to the stunning overthrow of the Mubarak government. Al-Aswany addresses himself to all the questions being asked within Egypt and beyond: who will be the next president, and how will he be chosen in a land where heretofore only simpletons, opportunists and stooges involved themselves with elections? What role will the Muslim Brotherhood play? How can democratic reforms be effected among a people used to such contradictions as the religiously observant policeman who commits torture? In a candid and controversial assessment of both the potential and limitations that will determine his country's future, Al-Aswany reveals why the revolt that surprised the world was destined to happen. "[The] star of a new generation of Egyptian novelists." -The Independent (UK)From the Trade Paperback edition.
After two hundred years of occupation, the Hyksos leader in his capital in northern Egypt tells Pharaoh in the south that the roaring of the sacred hippopotami at the best is keeping him awake at night and demands that they be killed, galvanizing Egypt into hurling its armies into a struggle to drive the barbarians from its sacred soil forever. In battle scenes that pit chariot against chariot and doughty swordsman against doughty swordsman, and through his sensitive portrait of Ahmose, the young pharaoh whose genius brings this epic to its climax, Mahfouz dramatically depicts the Egyptian people's undying loyalty to their land and religion and their refusal to bow to outside domination. But this is not just a tale of ancient, clashing armies. When Mahfouz was writing this novel in 1939, other outsiders, British and Turkish, held sway over the land of Egypt, and its inhabitants were engaged in a struggle against a foreign usurpation of their sovereignty that mirrored that of their ancestors. Nor is the novel simply a tale of men and arms, for, as Ahmose discovers, while the Nile flows majestically on forever, the violent currents of politics may pull hearts asunder, and in gaining a kingdom, a man may lose what his soul most craves.
From Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz: the three magnificent novels--published in an omnibus edition for the first time--that form an ancient-Egyptian counterpart to his famous Cairo Trilogy. Mahfouz reaches back thousands of years to bring us tales from his homeland's majestic early history--tales of the Egyptian nobility and of war, star-crossed love, and the divine rule of the pharaohs. In Khufu's Wisdom, the legendary Fourth Dynasty monarch faces the prospect of the end of his rule and the possibility that his daughter has fallen in love with the man prophesied to be his successor. Rhadopis of Nubia is the unforgettable story of the charismatic young Pharaoh Merenra II and the ravishing courtesan Rhadopis, whose love affair makes them the envy of all Egyptian society. And Thebes at War tells the epic story of Egypt's victory over the Asiatic foreigners who dominated the country for two centuries. Three Novels of Ancient Egypt gives us a dazzling tapestry of ancient Egypt and reminds us of the remarkable artistry of Naguib Mahfouz.
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