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Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen

Paperback

By (author) G Willow Wilson

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  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Format: Paperback | 456 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 208mm x 33mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 25 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0802121225
  • ISBN 13: 9780802121226
  • Illustrations note: maps
  • Sales rank: 456,341

Product description

"G. Willow Wilson has a deft hand with myth and with magic, and the kind of smart, honest writing mind that knits together and bridges cultures and people. You should read what she writes."--Neil Gaiman, author of "Stardust" and "American Gods" "Driven by a hot ionic charge between higher math and Arabian myth, G. Willow Wilson conjures up a tale of literary enchantment, political change, and religious mystery. Open the first page and you will be forced to do its bidding: To read on."--Gregory Maguire, author of "Wicked" and "Out of Oz" In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients--dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups--from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif--the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state's electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover's new fiance is the "Hand of God," as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground. When Alif discovers "The Thousand and One Days," the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen. With shades of Neal Stephenson, Philip Pullman, and "The Thousand and One Nights," "Alif the Unseen" is a tour de force debut--a sophisticated melting pot of ideas, philosophy, technology, and spirituality smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner. "[A] Harry Potter-ish action-adventure romance [that] unfolds against the backdrop of the Arab Spring. . . . Improbably charming . . . A bookload of wizardry and glee."--Janet Maslin, "The New York Times"

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Author information

G. Willow Wilson was born in New Jersey in 1982 and raised in Colorado. She is also the author of a memoir, "The Butterfly Mosque," and the critically acclaimed comics "Air" and "Vixen." She divides her time between Cairo and Seattle.

Review quote

Praise for "Alif the Unseen" "G. Willow Wilson has a deft hand with myth and with magic, and the kind of smart, honest writing mind that knits together and bridges cultures and people. You should read what she writes."--Neil Gaiman, author of "Stardust" and "American Gods" "[A] Harry Potterish action-adventure romance [that] unfolds against the backdrop of the Arab Spring. . . . A bookload of wizardry and glee."--Janet Maslin, "The New York Times" "Outrageously enjoyable . . . The energetic plotting of Philip Pullman, the nimble imagery of Neil Gaiman and the intellectual ambition of Neal Stephenson are three comparisons that come to mind."--Salon.com "An intoxicating, politicized amalgam of science fiction and fantasy . . . that integrates the all-too-familiar terrors of contemporary political repression with supernatural figures from "The Thousand and One Nights.""--Elizabeth Hand, "The Washington Post" "Open the first page and you will be forced to do its bidding: To read on."--Gregory Maguire, author of "Wicked" and "Out of Oz" "A magical book. The supernatural and sociopolitical thriller "Alif the Unseen" is timely literary alchemy, a smart, spirited swirl of current events and history; religion and mysticism; reality and myth; computer science and metaphysics. . . . "Alif the Unseen" richly rewards believers in the power of the written word."--"The Seattle Times" "[An] excellent modern fairytale . . . [Wilson] surpasses the early work of Stephenson and Gaiman, with whom comparisons have already been made. . . . "Alif the Unseen" will find many fans in both West and East. They will appreciate it for being just the fine story it is and as a seed for potent ideas yet to come."--io9.com "A book of startling beauty and power."--Holly Black, author of "The Spiderwick Chronicles" ""Alif the Unseen" . . . defies easy categorization. Is it literary fiction? A fantasy novel? A dystopian techno-thriller?-

Table of contents

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