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So, coming up from Melville House, who is all about the quirky, is what looks like some dystopian goodness (and timely, to boot) called The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz. Check it out!
About The Queue:
Set against the backdrop of a failed political uprising, The Queue is a chilling debut that evokes Orwellian dystopia, Kafkaesque surrealism, and a very real vision of life after the Arab Spring.
In a surreal, but familiar, vision of modern day Egypt, a centralized authority known as ‘the Gate’ has risen to power in the aftermath of the ‘Disgraceful Events,’ a failed popular uprising. Citizens are required to obtain permission from the Gate in order to take care of even the most basic of their daily affairs, yet the Gate never opens, and the queue in front of it grows longer.
Citizens from all walks of life mix and wait in the sun: a revolutionary journalist, a sheikh, a poor woman concerned for her daughter’s health, and even the brother of a security officer killed in clashes with protestors. Among them is Yehia, a man who was shot during the Events and is waiting for permission from the Gate to remove a bullet that remains lodged in his pelvis. Yehia’s health steadily declines, yet at every turn, officials refuse to assist him, actively denying the very existence of the bullet.
Ultimately it is Tarek, the principled doctor tending to Yehia’s case, who must decide whether to follow protocol as he has always done, or to disobey the law and risk his career to operate on Yehia and save his life.
Written with dark, subtle humor, The Queue describes the sinister nature of authoritarianism, and illuminates the way that absolute authority manipulates information, mobilizes others in service to it, and fails to uphold the rights of even those faithful to it.
Mai is a writer, translator, radio and TV journalist.
She is the author of a number of other novels including "The Magic of Turquoise"
Writer and journalist Zeinab Abdelrazzak will discuss her newly published book on the life of the Lady of the Screen Faten Hamama, on Tuesday, 9 Feb at 6:00pm.
Writer and journalist Zeinab Abdelrazzak will discuss her newly released book "Faten Hamama," at Cairo International Book Fair, Main Hall, Tuesdsay at 6:00pm.
The book, which was released from Dar El-Shorouk, is a documentation of the life of the famous Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, and includes several interviews that Abdelrazzak had with her and were never published during Hamama's life upon her request.
Faten Hamama passed away on 17 January 2015 and was one of Egypt’s most prominent actresses in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. Hamama was married to the Egyptian film star Omar Sharif. They starred in several movies together and became one of Egypt's most famous celebrity couples, before divorcing in the mid-1970s. Omar Sharif passed away shortly after Hamama, on 10 July 2015.
Tuesday, 9 February, 6:00pm
Cairo International Book Fair's Main Hall
Fair Grounds, Nasr City
January 22 - February 4
February 24th- March 5
March 1 - 12
March 9-19Riyadh Internatinal Book Fair
March 25 - April 3
April 27 - May 3