the yacoubian building

Front Cover
American Univ in Cairo Press, 2004 - Fiction - 253 pages
27 Reviews
The Yacoubian Building holds all that Egypt was and has become over the 75 years since its namesake was built on one of downtown Cairo's main boulevards. From the pious son of the building's doorkeeper and the raucous, impoverished squatters on its roof, via the tattered aristocrat and the gay intellectual in its apartments, to the ruthless businessman whose stores occupy its ground floor, each sharply etched character embodies a facet of modern Egypt one where political corruption, ill-gotten wealth, and religious hypocrisy are natural allies, where the arrogance and defensiveness of the powerful find expression in the exploitation of the weak, where youthful idealism can turn quickly to extremism, and where an older, less violent vision of society may yet prevail. Alaa Al Aswany's novel caused an unprecedented stir when it was first published in 2002 and has remained the world's best selling novel in the Arabic language since.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

My book club selected this book. It's an interesting look at modern-day Egyptian culture / society. The confusing case of characters made it difficult for me to read, though. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rmaitzen - LibraryThing

I would actually have liked to give The Yacoubian Building 3.5 stars: I more than liked it, though I'm not sure yet if I really liked it. I found it difficult reading at first because the tone held me ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
107
Section 3
247
Section 4
253
Section 5
265
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About the author (2004)


Alaa Al Aswany was born in 1957. A dentist whose first office was in the Yacoubian Building, Al Aswany has written prolifically for Egyptian newspapers across the political spectrum on literature, politics, and social issues.
Humphrey Davies earned his doctorate in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the translator of Thebes at War by Naguib Mahfouz (AUC Press, 2003). He was awarded the 2010 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of Yalo by Elias Khoury.

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