Monday, July 12, 2010

English-Language Fiction from Egypt

I have noticed that there aren't many websites and magazines that discuss English-Language Fiction from Egypt (original, not translated). So I decided to conduct a little research of my own, and came up with this list, which, hopefully, is a complete list of all Original English-Language Fiction published in Egypt. Here goes:

The Years Of Silence by Marwa Ayad: A contemporary tale of spousal abuse and the search for love, by young Egyptian author Marwa Ayad. This is her first and only book (s0 far), and it has garnered Justify Fullsome positive reviews, and, according to the author, has achieved good sales as well. Published by Malamih Publishing House. Click here for the book's official website.

Velo by Amr Khaled: A book about being young and lost in contemporary Egypt. The tale is laced with strange images and philosophical interludes. According to some online sources, the book was a bestseller in Egypt for a short time. Click here for the author's website. Published by Malamih Publishing House.

29! by Yasmine Adel Refaat: A collection of short stories encompassing a range of genres, all deeply rooted in psychology. Published by Malamih Publishing House.

When The Honeymoon Is Over by May Taher: A collection of sixteen short stories revolving around romantic relationships in contemporary Egypt. The book, published by Shabab Books, is the most expensive of all the titles listed here, with a retail price of 110 L.E, and is published in Hard Cover, unlike all the other releases which were published in Paperback. Online buzz and reviews haven't been kind to this collection. Visit the author's Facebook page here.

The Lord Of Illusions by Amr Shehata: A novel. Published by Shabab Books. Here is an excerpt from the official synopsis: "Dr. Galal Daggal – an Egyptian scientist and billionaire invents and sells a pill which when consumed, activates the human subconscious mind allowing people to dream whatever they desire while asleep. People dreamt they were rich. People dreamt they were married. People dreamt their deceased family members were still alive. People's dreams were limitless.

Is this the ultimate solution to bringing the long-lost happiness to the suppressed Egyptian people and causing general stability to the country? Or is it only the brink of something worse? "

* Thanks to author Mahmoud Mansi for the heads up about the book.

A Journey From Darkness To Light by Mahmoud Mansi: Arguably, the most ambitious (and longest) of all the novels listed here, this strange, genre-bending novel is part fantasy, part philosophy and part adventure story. Its author, Mahmoud Mansi, previously published this novel in Alexandria (his home city) as a limited-edition. Now he's re-published it in a deluxe paperback edition, which is printed by Author House, one of the most popular self-publishers in the US and the UK. The novel is available to buy from, and for international readers, from Amazon. Click here for the author's blog.

Melancholia by Basil Fateen: Released in 2010 by Shabab Books.

I couldn't find much information about this novel and its author, but here is some of the text posted by the author, Basil Fateen, on the book's official Facebook page: "So yeah...I wrote a novel. About a year ago. And now...finally...after months of waiting around, wandering the streets aimlessly all day and then crying myself to sleep every's coming out. And I hope that you go buy it and enjoy it. But at the very least buy it, you don't have to enjoy it. We've manufactured the book in such a way that it can also be used for various functions around the house; to keep a short leg on a table level, to throw at a spouse during an argument, and even for erotic pleasure (somehow). So my point it. Or I might not be able to afford the life-saving operation for my three legged puppy. Seriously. You don't want that on your conscience. But I do hope you enjoy it..."

Check out the book's official Facebook page for more info on the book and where to buy it.
There is also a short film made by author, featuring one of the characters from the book.

And, there is my novel, Beware The Stranger, published by Al-Hadara Publishing. It's a Young-Adult thriller, set in Cairo, Egypt, featuring vampires, monsters, sorcerers, and much more. It's available from these local bookstores, and, for international readers, from Amazon Kindle.

If you know about any other Egyptian English-Language books (fiction only) that aren't listed here, please send me an email. Thanks.

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