Alaa Al Aswany, a dentist and opposition journalist in Cairo, broke onto the literary scene in with “The Yacoubian Building,” a novel. 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. 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.

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It’s an explosive mix, with some end up with more than they bargained for.

The focus on women’s pleasure, seen most clearly in a long ode to the political value of using a vibrator, challenges the authority of a patriarch such as Danana, who not only distorts the Koran the more cruelly to lord it over his wife, but is willing to pimp her out to an Egyptian state torturer.

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Chicago (novel) – Wikipedia

Bella Yagolkovskaya marked it as to-read Dec 15, Their storylines are connected through the Department of Histology at the University of Illinois, and histology—the microscopic study of cross-sections of biological tissues—offers a fitting analogy for Al Aswany’s narrative technique: Aswni uzana Kratka reviews.

Chicago is striking for the attention it devotes to questions of sexuality. Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. Stefanie Sobelle writes about contemporary fiction for Words Without Borders, Bookforum, and a variety of other publications. The multiplicity of chicqgo stories is very much to the point: Almost from the start both male and female characters are shown masturbating, watching pornography, or indulging in carnal dreams.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany | Books | The Guardian

I am finding it less than sincere. Long before that, the American characters are short-shrifted, portrayed in general as either racist ignoramuses or, if they’re black or progressively minded, as victims of an enduringly racist and capitalist society. There are profound, often chilling, moments of self-realisation along the way, as when the unhappy Dr Salah descends one morning into the basement of his house and uncovers an old suitcase that contains the clothes he had brought to America from Egypt 30 years before: This page was last edited on 4 Decemberat Since the publication of his successful debut The Yacoubian BuildingAlaa Al Aswany has become one of Egypt’s most celebrated writers, a vocal opponent to the corruption and nepotism that have characterized President Mubarek’s regime.


An impending visit by the president of Egypt produces all sorts of plot possibilities, setting off a good deal of subterfuge.

Ultimately, Chicago is a truly brave work, and fhicago translation offers Americans a provocative, vital perspective on the U. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

Assilah Forum Celebrates 20 years of Banipal. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Open Preview See a Problem? Nagi Abd al-Samad, an Egyptian student at Illinois, engages in both histology and poetry. Al Aswany wrote in a fearless manner, especially when it came to sexual and political matters. Tariq, who is an upper-class Egyptian student escaping from marriage and family responsibilities imposed onto him by his mother and relatives back in Egypt, is at first reluctant to show commitment to Shaymaa, but their relationship begins to take a different turn after Shaymaa discovers she is pregnant.

In the mix of characters living in the building one found, for instance, an extravagant playboy, a gay intellectual, and a devout Islamic fundamentalist.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

In both novels, Al Aswany illustrates that the cruelties of domesticity marital infidelities, self-destructive children are inextricable from the brutalities of larger political forces—domestic and international.


Shayma a rural girl at her 30’s yet unmarried pursue an intimate relationship with Tariq. Bianca marked it as to-read Sep 29, Dr Salah, an Coptic Egyptian-American professor starts seeing a therapist after he faces a series of marital problems with his American wife Chris whom he appears to have married in order to obtain the US citizenship.

Vicki rated it liked it Oct 24, Like what you read? Aswany does not shy away from sex. Danana is president of the Student Union’s of Egyptians in America and quite involved with the admitted Egyptian students at the university.

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

Often it’s of the rather desperate sort — especially when that female virtue is meant to stay untouched — though at least one character does find a good measure of release and happiness when she shells out for a vibrator. He offers vivid histories for these various conflicts, beginning with the Algonquins who lived as farmers in Chicago until settlers arrived in the late seventeenth-century and massacred them in the name of God: More from the web.

The novel is about the conflict between politics, sex and money. The Students are completely controlled by their colleague who is leading the Students’ Union Of Egyptians in United States, He is the Secretary General of the Youth Committee of the ruling party in Egypt and he is cooperating with the Egyptian Intelligence Agency to make sure of the loyalty of the students and to transfer information about immigrant Copts.