“But if a city hasn’t been used by an artist not even the inhabitants live there imaginatively.”
Alisdair Grey Lanark
Somewhere at the back of my mind is the idea that one travels to a country, city or place in one’s head long before one actually goes there – sometimes the entire journey is the book. Well with this in mind I’m thinking what to read on the aeroplane – I prefer a hard copy rather than an ebook.
I’ve already read
Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings
Wilbur Smith River God
Thinking of Elizabeth Peters crime books (not too taxing) but apparently well researched, drawback is they aren’t set in modern era.
I couldn’t really get on with any of the Christian Jacq novels – despite all their obvious attractions.
Would also be nice to have a literary novel as a standby?
I’ve read Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy.
If he wrote about Luxor I would definitely go for that.
The following suggestions abstracted from the following informative webpage:
there some more suggestions here:
“Children of Gebelawi” (1959) is one of Mahfouz’s best known works. It chronicles a family feud over Gebelaawi’s new mansion built in a desert oasis. Echoing, to a certain extent, the stories of certain Bibical characters, the book was banned in Egypt and throughout the Arab world, except in the Lebanon, for alleged blasphemy over its allegorical portrayal of God.
or what about:
THE COLLAR AND THE BRACELET: MODERN ARABIC STORIES (Modern Arabic Literature)
by Yahya Taher Abdullah, translated by Samah Selim (The American University in Cairo Press, 2008)
Dark short stories of village life in Karnak, set against the backdrop of the British campaigns in Sudan, the Second World War, and the war in Palestine,”The Collar and the Bracelet” is the grim saga of the troubled Bishari family.
A modernist narrative tapestry of love and revenge with the flavour of a folk story
Another Egyptian novelist would be:
other to check:
by Rex Keating
In Nubian Twilight Keating sees the High Dam as ‘the twilight of Nubia’ – a land he loves, and here shows us in detail. He covers its highway, the keeper of the door of the South, the ‘Belly of Stone’, ‘The Guardians of the Cataract’, Island of the King, ‘Viceroys of Kush and Abu Simbel’, ‘Ozymandias’, the ‘Kingdom of Kush’ and the ‘Coming of Byzantium’.
Includes a chronology and maps