Return to Dar Al-Basha: A Novel

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Syracuse University Press, 2006 - Fiction - 168 pages
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Return to Dar al-Basha by the contemporary Tunisian author Hassan Nasr depicts the childhood of Murtada al-Shamikh and his return forty years later to his home in the medina or old city of Tunis. After being taken from his mother and raised in his father's home where he was physically abused and emotionally marginalized, Murtada spends a life of anxiety wandering the world. His return is prompted by a mysterious visit from one of his father's Sufi friends as he roams the desert in Mauritania. Murtada retraces his steps through the medina to his family's house in anticipation of a possible reunion with his troubled father, vividly reliving sights, smells, and sounds from his childhood and evoking his childhood initiation into Islamic mysticism as he experiences a personal journey of the spirit across space and time.

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About the author (2006)

William Maynard Hutchins, the principal translator of Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy (AUC Press 1990?92), has taught English, philosophy, Arabic, and Islamic Studies in Lebanon, Ghana, Egypt, and France. His most recent book is Tawfiq al-Hakim: A Reader's Guide.

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