English edition  
October  2004
352 pp.
80 b/w illus. 
19X23.5 cm
ISBN 9789774243875
For sale only in the Middle East



City of Memory Michael Haag

Cosmopolitan Alexandria, its life, its loves, and its literature

In the decades before Nasser's seizure of power and the Suez crisis, Alexandria was a magnet for the wealthy, the gifted, and the glamorous from around the world. The whole city looked seaward, its port one of the busiest in the Mediterranean, its spirit ecumenical, its life luxuriant and sensual. Alexandria was barely an Egyptian city, and the Egyptians who live there now inhabit the gently crumbling remains of a foreign world, whose palatial villas, Venetian apartments, art-nouveau cafes, Moorish hotels, and cinemas conceived in thirties deco, are haunted by a departed cast. "I lived a great, extravagant, and colorful life in wartime Alexandria," recalled Lawrence Durrell, whose Alexandria Quartet is one of the greatest protraits of a city in modern literature. Michael Haag, who has lived in Alexandria, and has known Durrell and others who lived there during its cosmopolitan heyday, has retraced their footsteps to present an absorbing account of the places and the people of this most remarkable of cities. ‘’Michael Haag mixes memory and biography, politics and cultural studies in clear and seamless prose.’’—The New York Review of Books
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Michael Haag edited and annotated the first British edition of E.M. Forster's Alexandria: A History and a Guide (1982) and has written a highly acclaimed modern guide to Egypt.

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"Michael Haag's Alexandria is a remarkable achievement. Not merely a composite biography of Forster, Cavafy and Durrell, or their relations with the city, it is also a history of Alexandria, full of fascinating detail."—Professor Sir Frank Kermode

"A book worth of the city."—Anthony Sattin, The Sunday Times

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