The Lodging House

Khairy Shalaby
Translated byFarouk Abdel Wahab

A young man’s dreams for a better future as a student in the Teachers’ Institute are shattered after he assaults one of his instructors for discri

English edition
1 March 2009
440 pp.
12.5X20cm
ISBN 9789774162398
For sale worldwide

$16.95

A young man’s dreams for a better future as a student in the Teachers’ Institute are shattered after he assaults one of his instructors for discriminating against him. From then on, he begins his descent into the underworld. Penniless, he seeks refuge in Wikalat ‘Atiya, a historic but now completely run-down caravanserai that has become the home of the town’s marginal and underprivileged characters. This award-winning novel takes on epic dimensions as the narrator escorts us on a journey to this underworld, portraying—as he sinks further into its intricate relationships—the many characters that inhabit it. Through a labyrinth of tales, reminiscent of the popular Arab tradition of storytelling, we are introduced to these denizens, whose lives oscillate between the real and the fantastic, the contemporary and the timeless. And while the narrator starts out as a spectator of these characters’ lives, he soon becomes an integral part of the lodging house’s community of rogues.

Khairy Shalaby

KHAIRY SHALABY, born in Kafr al-Shaykh in Egypt’s Nile Delta in 1938, has written seventy books, including novels, short stories, historical tales, and critical studies. The Lodging House was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2003. ADAM TALIB is the translator of Mekkawi Said's novel Cairo Swan Song (AUC Press, 2009).

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