The Yacoubian Building
By Alaa Al Aswany
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060878139, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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This controversial bestselling novel in the Arab world reveals the political corruption, sexual repression, religious extremism, and modern hopes of Egypt today.
All manner of flawed and fragile humanity reside in the Yacoubian Building, a once-elegant temple of Art Deco splendor now slowly decaying in the smog and bustle of downtown Cairo: a fading aristocrat and self-proclaimed "scientist of women"; a sultry, voluptuous siren; a devout young student, feeling the irresistible pull toward fundamentalism; a newspaper editor helplessly in love with a policeman; a corrupt and corpulent politician, twisting the Koran to justify his desires.
These disparate lives careen toward an explosive conclusion in Alaa Al Aswany's remarkable international bestseller. Teeming with frank sexuality and heartfelt compassion, this book is an important window on to the experience of loss and love in the Arab world.
Alaa Al Aswany is the internationally bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building and Chicago. A journalist who writes a controversial opposition column, Al Aswany makes his living as a dentist in Cairo.
“[A] hilarious, sensual, bawdy and beautiful novel.”
“Captivating and controversial .. . .an amazing glimpse of modern Egyptian society and culture.”
-New York Review of Books
“...tremendously likable.... This vision of life connects high with low, rich with poor, through shared vices and needs.”
-San Francisco Chronicle