Fiction in Translation
English edition  
August  2009
112 pp.
12.5X20 cm
ISBN 9789774163081
For sale worldwide


Maryam’s Maze

Mansoura Ez Eldin
Translated by Paul Starkey

The story of a young woman lost in a chaotic world

Maryam’s Maze is an enigmatic novel by one of the most promising authors of a vibrant new generation of Egyptian writers. Set in the house of Yusuf el Tagi, Maryam’s Maze relates the story of a woman struggling to find her way through the confusion of the world around her. Using the literary device of the ‘double,’ Maryam’s Maze narrates a story that on one level touches on universal human emotions. At the same time the inner maze of dreams and memories in which the young Maryam finds herself stirs greater resonance in issues of modern Egyptian life. Echoing themes found in her earlier short fiction, Mansoura Ez Eldin has woven a haunting allegorical tale that reveals its real meaning to the reader only at the end of the novel. With its precision of language and distinctive personal vision, Maryam’s Maze represents a unique contribution to the corpus of contemporary Egyptian fiction.
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Mansoura Ez Eldin was born in the Egyptian Delta and graduated with a degree in journalism from Cairo University in 1998. She has published a collection of short stories, and presently runs the book review section of the literary magazine Akhbar al-adab. Maryam’s Maze is her first novel. Paul Starkey is head of the Arabic Department at the University of Durham, England. He has published widely in the field of modern Arabic literature and was co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature (1998). He has translated novels by Rashid al-Daif, Turki al-Hamad, and Edwar al-Kharrat (Stones of Bobello, AUC Press, 2005).

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“[This novel] reveals a depth of experience both social and psychological stated in a wonderfully self contained and self reflective tone. This novel gives us a new aesthetic and hence a real breakaway from what has come to be accepted and expected in that genre.”—Mahmoud Amin Al Alem

"An intriguing, intellectually challenging and yet very enjoyable piece of writing. It can be read, re-read and read again from many different angles, bringing each time new views and opening new perspectives. Highly recommended."—Banipal

"One of the most promising authors of a new generation of Egyptian writers."—Arab News

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