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Nine short stories and a novella make up this latest offering by Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building . As in that novel, Al Aswany dissects modern Egyptian society and reveals with skill and detachment the hypocrisy, violence, and abuse of power characteristic of a world in moral crisis. Here, though, the focus has shifted from the broad historical canvas to the minute stitches of pain that hold together an individual, a family, a school classroom, or the relationship between a man and a woman. Can a man so alienated from his society that he regards all its members as no better than microbes wriggling under a microscope survive within it? Can cynical religiosity triumph over human decency? Can a man put the thought of a delicious dish of beans behind him long enough to mourn his father's death? Alongside these wry questions, other, less mordant perspectives also have their place: an aging cabaret dancer bestows the blessing of a vanished world on her lover's son; a crippled boy wins subjective victory from objective disaster. In Friendly Fire , readers will find again the vivid, passionate characters of today's Cairo, clamoring to be heard.
|Publication date:||30th March 2009|
|Author:||Alaa Al Aswany|
|Publisher:||The American University in Cairo Press|
ALAA AL ASWANY was born in 1957. A dentist by profession, Al Aswany is the author of the bestselling novel The Yacoubian Building (which was made into a major motion picture in 2006) and, most recently, Chicago. HUMPHREY DAVIES is the translator of The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany, Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury, for which he was awarded the Banipal Prize for Literary Translation, Pyramid Texts by Gamal al-Ghitani (AUC Press, 2007), and The Mahfouz Dialogs by Gamal al-Ghitani (AUC Press, 2007).More About Alaa Al Aswany