The Man from Bashmour

Salwa Bakr
Translated byNancy Roberts

Egypt in the ninth century ad: an Arab, Muslim ruling class governs a country of mostly Coptic-speaking Christians. After an exorbitant land tax impos

English edition
7 October 2007
328 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774161094
For sale worldwide

$22.95

Egypt in the ninth century ad: an Arab, Muslim ruling class governs a country of mostly Coptic-speaking Christians. After an exorbitant land tax imposed by the caliph’s governors sparks a peasant revolt, Budayr is dispatched to the marshlands of the Nile Delta as an escort for a church-appointed emissary whose mission is to persuade the rebels to lay down their arms. But he is soon caught up in a swirl of events and concerns that alter the course of his life irrevocably, setting him on a path he could never have foreseen. The events that befall him and the insights he gains from them bring about a gradual but inexorable personal transformation, through which his eyes are opened to the fundamental commonalities— practical, spiritual, and existential—that bind Muslims and Copts, and he emerges as an emissary of a new sort. Hailed as a groundbreaking treatment of otherwise neglected aspects of medieval history, The Man from Bashmour is an exploration of the Egyptian character past and present, and offers insights into Egyptian thought on everything from love, philosophy, and religion to life and death.

Salwa Bakr

Salwa Bakr is the author of four volumes of short stories and four novels. Her work has been translated into English, French, German, Swedish, and Dutch. She is married, has two children, and lives in an outer suburb of Cairo. Denys Johnson-Davies was born in Canada and grew up in Sudan and East Africa. Among his recent translations is Yahya Hakki’s The Lamp of Umm Hashim (AUC Press, 2004). He is the author of Memories in Translation: A Life between the Lines of Arabic Literature (AUC Press, 2006).
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