The Men Who Swallowed the Sun

A Novel

Hamdi Abu Golayyel
Translated by Humphrey Davies

This gritty tale of two men’s ill-conceived quest for a better life via the deserts of the Middle East and the cities of Europe is pure storytel

English edition
2 May 2022
216 pp.
14x22cm
ISBN 9781649030948
For sale worldwide

11.99

This gritty tale of two men’s ill-conceived quest for a better life via the deserts of the Middle East and the cities of Europe is pure storytelling

Two Bedouin men from Egypt’s Western Desert seek to escape poverty through different routes. One—the intellectual, terminally self-doubting, and avowedly autobiographical Hamdi—gets no further than southern Libya’s fly-blown oasis of Sabha, while his cousin—the dashing, irrepressible Phantom Raider—makes it to the fleshpots of Milan.

The backdrop of this darkly comic and unsentimental story of illegal immigration is a brutal Europe and Muammar Gaddafi’s rickety, rhetoric-propped Great State of the Masses, where “the Leader” fantasizes of welding Libyan and Egyptian Bedouin into a new self-serving political force, the Saad-Shin.

Compelling and visceral, with a seductive, muscular irony, The Men Who Swallowed the Sun is an unforgettable novel of two men and their fellow migrants and the extreme marginalization that drives them.

Click here to read an excerpt.

 

Hamdi Abu Golayyel

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. He is editor-in-chief of the Popular Studies series, which specializes in folklore research, and writes for the Emirates newspaper al-Ittihad. 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. For six years he lived in Cairo, where he worked as a journalist for the Cairo Times, taking up translation during a short sojourn in New York. He currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Humphrey Davies

Humphrey  Davies is the translator of a number of Arabic novels, including The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany (AUC Press, 2004). He has twice been awarded the Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.
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