The Yacoubian Building

Alaa Al Aswany
Translated by Humphrey Davies

The Yacoubian Building holds all that Egypt was and has become over the 75 years since its namesake was built on one of downtown Cairo’s main boulev

English edition
266 pp.
12.5X20cm
ISBN 9789774160271
For sale only in the Middle East

$14.95

The Yacoubian Building holds all that Egypt was and has become over the 75 years since its namesake was built on one of downtown Cairo’s main boulevards. From the pious son of the building’s doorkeeper and the raucous, impoverished squatters on its roof, via the tattered aristocrat and the gay intellectual in its apartments, to the ruthless businessman whose stores occupy its ground floor, each sharply etched character embodies a facet of modern Egypt—one where political corruption, ill-gotten wealth, and religious hypocrisy are natural allies, where the arrogance and defensiveness of the powerful find expression in the exploitation of the weak, where youthful idealism can turn quickly to extremism, and where an older, less violent vision of society may yet prevail. Alaa Al Aswany’s novel caused an unprecedented stir when it was first published in 2002 and has remained the world’s best selling novel in the Arabic language since.

Alaa Al Aswany

Alaa Al Aswany was born in 1957. A dentist by profession, Al Aswany is the author of the bestselling novel The Yacoubian Building (AUC Press, 2005), Chicago (AUC Press, 2007), and the novella and short story collection Friendly Fire (AUC Press 2009).

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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