Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery

Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery

A Novel

Book - 1996
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This brief, beautifically crafted novel introduces one of the finest contemporary Arab novelists to English-speaking audiences. In it, Bahaa' Taher, one of a group of Egyptian writers--including the Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz--noted for their revealing portraits of Egyptian life and society, tells the dramatic story of a young Muslim who, when his life is threatened, finds sanctuary in a community of Coptic monks. It is a tale of honor and of the terrible demands of blood vengeance; it probes the question of how a people or nation can become divided against itself.

Taher has a magical gift for evoking the village life of Upper Egypt--a vastly different setting than urban Cairo and a landscape that tourists usually glimpse only from the windows of trains and buses taking them to the Pharaonic sites. Here, where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully for centuries, where the traditions of the Coptic Church are as powerful as those of the Muslims, Taher crafts an intricate and compelling tale of far-reaching implications. With a powerful narrative voice and a genius for capturing the complex nuances of human interaction, Taher brilliantly depicts the poignant drama of a traditional society caught up in the process of change.
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, c1996
ISBN: 9780520200746
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: xix, 124 pages : map ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Romaine, Barbara 1959-


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Mar 15, 2014

An interesting glimpse into Upper Egypt in the 1960s, this novel tells of a culture of revenge. The author shows Coptic Christians and Muslims living in harmony.

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