Fiction in Translation
English edition  
March  2012
248 pp.
Paperback
12.5X20 cm
$16.95
LE100
ISBN 9789774165269
For sale only in the Middle East

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Friendly Fire

Tales of Today’s Egypt Alaa Al Aswany
Translated by Humphrey Davies

New paperback edition

A novel and sixteen short stories make up this collection by Egypt’s bestselling novelist as he reveals with skill and detachment 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 Egypt, clamoring to be heard.
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Alaa Al Aswany was born in 1957. A dentist by profession, he is the author of the bestselling novel The Yacoubian Building (AUC Press, 2005) and Chicago (AUC Press, 2007), and On the State of Egypt: The Issues That Caused the Revolution ( AUC Press, 2011). Humphrey Davies is the translator of The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany and Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury, for which he was awarded the Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. He was awarded the Banipal Prize a second time for his translation of Elias Khoury’s Yalo.

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Humphrey Davies talks about the realities and challenges of translating from Arabic. Click here for the interview.

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