3.55 (4,910 ratings by Goodreads)
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This novel tells the story of the life of an Egyptian woman - the eponymous Zaat - during the regimes of three Egyptian presidents: Abdel Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak. Imbued with an Egyptian sense of humour and deeply rooted in the culture and politics of the modern period, the novel takes a humourous but often black look at the changes that occurred in Egypt over the last few decades of the 20th century. Zaat's life experiences and relationships are set against economic and social upheavals. Zaat's story is interspersed and illustrated with extracts from newspapers of the day - headlines, articles, captions, death notices, advertisements - reflecting events and incidents contemporary with her life. They tell of corruption, financial scandals, torture, foreign debt, and social problems. The heroine epitomizes the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of simple folk tossed about on the stormy sea of modernization, consumerism, and the ever-present mirage of new wealth.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 31.75mm | 793.79g
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • English
  • 9774246470
  • 9789774246470

About Sonallah Ibrahim

SONALLAH IBRAHIM was born in 1937. After studying law and drama at Cairo University, he became a journalist in Cairo until his arrest and imprisonment in 1959. Upon his release in 1964, he briefly returned to journalism in Egypt before moving to berlin and Moscow. He returned to Egypt in 1976 and since then has dedicated all his time to writing. In 1999 he was a visiting associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies of the University of California at Berkeley. Zaat was first published in Arabic in 1992. His latest novel, Warda, was published in Arabic in 2000. ANTHONY CALDERBANK lived in Cairo for many years and has had a long interest in Arabic language and literature. He currently works in Saudi Arabia.
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Rating details

4,910 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 22% (1,079)
4 33% (1,614)
3 29% (1,430)
2 11% (516)
1 6% (271)
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