Publishing Perspectives on Arabia Books
Olivia Snaije reports on our fifth anniversary
Arabic Literature (in English) - 5 Books to Read Before You Die
Arabia Books titles feature on blog's must-read list
Samar Yazbek at the Hay Festival
The Syrian author and activist will be in conversation with Jo Glanville, Director of English PEN
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UK & Commonwealth
AUC Fiction - Distributed Titles
By Mohamed El-Bisatie
In a fictional Gulf country, with its gleaming glass towers and imported greenery, the routine of day-to-day life is suddenly interrupted when the national football team qualifies for the World Cup. The Emir issues an edict ordering all native Emiratis to travel to France to support the team, leaving the country to the care of its imported labor. How do they handle such newly found freedom?
Steered by a perverse blend of Dante and Scheherezade, we descent layer by layer beneath the facade of modernity: from the colorful mulitilingual throngs rejoicing for the Emirati team to the hierarchies that underpin them, from the luxurious gardens and swimming pools into the darker secrets of the bedroom, from the rigid and inhibiting strictures of the present to a remote age of innocence. Three narratives interweave to form a tight and thought-provoking examination of the psychology of control.
Mohamed El-Bisatie is the author of a number of novels and short story collections, including (AUC Press, 1994), A Last Glass of TeaHouses Behind the Trees (AUC Press, 1997), Clamor of the Lake (AUC Press, 2004), Over the Brdige (AUC Press, 2006), and Hunger (AUC Press, 2008). He was awarded the prestigious Oweiss Prize in 2001.
Translated by Peter Daniel
Review of Drumbeat in Almasryalyoum by Ursula Lindsey, 25 March 2010: