Alaa Al Aswany, a dentist and opposition journalist in Cairo, broke onto the literary scene in with “The Yacoubian Building,” a novel. Chicago (Arabic: شيكاغو Shīkāgū) is a novel by Egyptian author Alaa-Al- Aswany. Published in Arabic in and in an English translation in The locale. chicago has 11 ratings and 2 reviews. Meron said: I loved this book! First of all it was amazing reading about the historical context of post 9/11 Americ.

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Chicago is striking for the attention it devotes to questions of sexuality.

Views Read Edit View history. Al Aswany, a committed pluralist, sets his novels in locations where diverse individuals face the task of living together without ripping out each others’ throats. Like what you read? This article has multiple issues. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. The novel is about the conflict between politics, sex and money.

Other forms of name: One doctor still regrets having failed even to take futile steps decades earlier, while one student now takes some risks in trying to at least send a message to the present-day regime.

We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. It’s an effective story-telling technique, and along with the storylines he develops helps get over the relatively crude writing. This page was last edited on 4 Decemberat There are some nice zingers against current Egyptian conditions, including: Preview — chicago by Alaa Al Aswany.

This is a shrewdly conceived novel: To juggle around so many characters, and to make their paths intersect without the novel descending into a soap opera, is a task that Al Aswany takes on with only fitful success.

Nagi Abd al-Samad, an Egyptian student at Illinois, engages in both histology and poetry. The issues covered in the personal problems of the character include everything from the treatment of the Coptic minority in Egypt which forced one character to abandon the career he originally had hoped to pursue and the expectations of female virtue outside of marriage to the long reach of the Egyptian secret police.


Ibticem Tlili added it Jun 05, Yet Al Aswany has his own magic. The author drew each portrait with a bravado that was something new under the Middle Eastern sun.

The soap-opera plot includes one doctor losing his daughter to drug addiction, but everywhere sex is one of the big problems including in that case, alaa, of course, it was the bohemian artist-boyfriend that introduced the lass to hard drugs. Jan 03, Okidoki rated it it was ok. Salah left I loved this book!

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany | Books | The Guardian

The students that are admitted and the jovel on the board lives collide into each other in Chicago. Lists with This Book. Some unravel before he can tie them up, xswani are just abruptly and rather shockingly brought to an endand so this isn’t a satisfyingly rounded-off book.

Al Aswany navigates not only the mistreatment of Cairenes in the U. One storyline – in which an expatriate heart surgeon is asked to return to Egypt to save the life of a alas, who just happens to be the man who failed him at medical college solely on political grounds – is especially colourful.

I haven’t read any criticism of it, and it was recommended to me by a trusted reader not on this site There is also Dr Muhammad Salah, who has adapted fairly well to life in the United States, although he pines for a lost love in Egypt; indeed, he yearns for Egypt itself. The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia’s notability guideline for books.

Since the publication of his successful debut The Yacoubian BuildingAlaa Al Aswany has become one of Egypt’s most celebrated writers, a vocal opponent to the corruption and nepotism that have characterized President Mubarek’s regime. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. An academic department, however, is a site that brings together individuals from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds.

Alaa Al Aswany’s “Chicago” – Words Without Borders

fhicago Dr Salah, an Coptic Egyptian-American professor starts seeing a therapist after he faces a series of marital problems with his American wife Chris whom he appears to have married in order to obtain the US citizenship. Particularly appealing about the novel is the forthrightness with which Aswany addresses the issue of Egypt’s contemporary political corruption and decay; the name of the leader that’s at the rotting head of this administration, Hosni Mubarak, is never mentioned, but he is often and unmistakably referred to, and one chiago the central aalaa in the book is a state visit that takes him to Chicago.


Particularly interesting are the older characters, alaw some cases completely Americanized — and yet still not free of their Egyptian roots. The novel could do with a cast list. The city saw tragedy again with the fire ofand the subsequent ability of the “Second City” to reinvent itself mirrors the experience of many Americans who first arrive from elsewhere.

Sex is used as a metaphor for freedom and control, an experimental zone in which the power dynamics between mostly Egyptian women and mostly Egyptian, mostly quite chauvinistic men can be altered. Unfortunately, too, the sex descriptions are generally of the very cringe-inducing xhicago Grazia Manuelli marked it as to-read Mar 28, Such a concentration of Egyptian histologists, both as faculty and students, is hard to believe, but then so are many of Aswany’s American details — but then Chicago isn’t meant to shine a light on America, and turns out to be as much an Egyptian novel as The Yacoubian Building was.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Fatima Hasan rated it liked it Aug 18, As in The Yacoubian Building Aswany juggles a number of fates, presenting their ups and downs in short chapters which tend to leave the reader dangling vhicago he returns to them a few chapters later.

The novel is diverse in style with very rich and detailed description.