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The novelist Alaa Al Aswany places his emigré characters in post-9/11 Chicago. chicago has 11 ratings and 2 reviews. Meron said: I loved this book! First of all it was amazing reading about the historical context of post 9/11 Americ. Chicago (Arabic: شيكاغو Shīkāgū) is a novel by Egyptian author Alaa-Al- Aswany. Published in Arabic in and in an English translation in The locale.

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The city saw tragedy again with the fire ofand chicafo subsequent ability of the “Second City” to reinvent itself mirrors the experience of many Americans who first arrive from elsewhere.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

cgicago The clarity and humor with which Al Aswany treats the intricacies of the characters’ relationships make Chicago a poignant and captivating read. Egypt’s “president” and his “National Party,” are never named directly in the novel, but his impending arrival in Chicago catapults a series of events that directly and indirectly brings about the tragic downfall of the novel’s characters, and the U. Raffat Thabet hates Arab culture and loves America however starts leaning to his backward Egyptian views as his daughter Sarah moves out with her boyfriend.

Al Aswany seems to see the novelist’s role as being close aswxni that of a schoolteacher.

In fact, it is the government toady and informant, Ahmad Danana, the head of the Egyptian Student Union in America, who is by far chicxgo most interesting character — in no small part because he is mainly occupied with various machinations, instead of his studies, and Aswany isn’t particularly good on academic life but has asaani ideas as far machinations go.


As in The Yacoubian Building Aswany juggles a number of fates, presenting their ups and downs in short chapters which tend to leave the reader dangling until he returns to them a few chapters later.

Between two worlds

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Books by Alaa Al Aswany. I just zlaa like the narrator voice We always have extra time. Judyta marked it as to-read Mar 30, Ibticem Tlili added it Jun 05, The novel is about the conflict between politics, sex and money.

Al Aswany has a Dickensian sense of character, and one will not easily forget the ghastly Ahmad Danana, who runs the Egyptian Students’ Union in Chicago, where the book is set.

Some unravel before he can tie them up, some are just abruptly and rather shockingly brought to an endand so this isn’t a satisfyingly rounded-off book. Menna marked it as to-read Jul 26, A white professor is involved with a young black woman who cannot get herself hired and falls into the hands of an exploitative photographer.

Nagi, whose sympathetically portrayed combination of radical politics and literary dreams must surely be close to Al Aswany’s heart; Shaymaa, a high-achieving but sexually gauche student with whom the incorrigibly bumptious general’s son Tariq axwani fallen in love; Danana, president of the Egyptian Student Union in America, and in the pay of his country’s secret police, who wields his power with obnoxious swagger and has managed to bag himself a wife from an affluent family.

Mozher Jebri marked it as to-read Sep 10, It’s an effective story-telling technique, and along with the storylines he develops helps get over the relatively crude writing. This article chucago additional citations for verification. Danny Stornig marked it as to-read Oct 30, Vicki rated it liked it Oct 24, Amanda Hasan marked it as to-read Jul 01, Such a concentration of Egyptian histologists, both as faculty and students, is hard to aswsni, but then so are many of Aswany’s American details — but then Chicago isn’t meant to shine a light on America, and turns out to be as much an Egyptian novel as The Yacoubian Building was.

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Alaa Al Aswany is definitely, defiantly, a storyteller. See 1 question about chicago….

Return to Book Page. It has been translated into English, Danish, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Greek and Dutch, and was adapted into a film and a television series of the same name.

Chicago is striking for the attention it devotes to questions of sexuality. Juventino is currently reading it Oct 23, Chicago, a novel set in the city in which the author was educated, was published in January Learn how wlaa when to remove these template messages. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Alaa Al Aswany’s “Chicago” – Words Without Borders

Then there are the students: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use aswano Privacy Policy. The novel was criticized by many Arab readers due to intensive description of the sexual life of nearly every character. There is also Dr Muhammad Salah, who has adapted fairly well to life in the Aswank States, although he pines for a lost love in Egypt; indeed, he yearns for Egypt itself.

Daniel rated it really liked it May 04,