Fiction in Translation
English edition  
July  2015
160 pp.
Paperback
15X23 cm
$14.95
LE100
ISBN 9789774167362
For sale worldwide

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A Dog with No Tail

Hamdi Abu Golayyel
Translated by Robin Moger

Winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

In a world with no meaning, meaning is an act . . . This is a story about building things up and knocking them down. Here are the campfire tales of Egypt’s dispossessed and disillusioned, the anti-Arabian Nights. Our narrator, a rural immigrant from the Bedouin villages of the Fayoum, an aspiring novelist and construction laborer of the lowest order, leads us down a fractured path of reminiscence in his quest for purpose and identity in a world where the old orders and traditions are powerless to help. Bawdy and wistful, tragicomic and bitter, his stories loop and repeat, crackling with the frictive energy of colliding worlds and linguistic registers. These are the tales of Cairo’s new Bedouin, men not settled by the state but permanently uprooted by it. Like their lives, their stories are dislocated and unplotted, mapping out their quest for meaning in the very act of placing brick on brick and word on word.
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Hamdi Abu Golayyel was born in the Fayoum, Egypt, in 1967. He is the author of three short story collections and two novels, the first of which, Thieves in Retirement, was published in English in 2007. A Dog with No Tail was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2008. Robin Moger studied Egyptology and Arabic at Oxford, graduating with a first class degree in 2001. He is the translator of Women of Karantina by Nael Eltoukhy (AUC Press, 2014).

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"A Dog with No Tail is many things: a sophisticated storytelling experiment; a subaltern chronicle of the invisible world of day labour and the fading history of a Bedouin tribe; and a guarded but deeply felt celebration of writing"--The National

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