“Despite its breadth of vision, the novel manages to balance both sides of the equation—the quirky and sometimes explosive developments in personal relationships within the family and the sudden and often devastating interventions of life outside the village—to create an intricate dynamic that captures much of the essence of the country’s recent experience.” —Humphrey Davies, Mahfouz Medal Award Committee “In this beautifully crafted novel, there are luminous moments where history literally arrives at a village swept by more than a century of colonial rule, revolutions, and wars. In its evocation of imagined history and fictive events, the novel . . . invites us to reflect on the boundaries that separate the village from modernity, fiction from history, and art from life.” —Tahia Abdel Nasser, Mahfouz Medal Award Committee
"An absorbing and kaleidoscopic retelling of Egyptian history from Ottoman rule to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ezzat El Kamhawi provides a haunting glimpse into complex, tangled lives silenced by official histories. . . . [His] prose is lean, understated and often poetic, and his writing owes as much to oral storytelling as to the traditions of the novel. His mode of address is often mythic, sometimes magical."—Alev Adil, Times Literary Supplement Click here to read the complete review.