The line separating the East from the West

A second edition of Ahdaf Soueif’s collection of stories, entitled Zeinat al-Hayah (The Ornaments of Life), was recently published by el-Shorouk . The collection consists of eight stories translated into Arabic. Soueif was involved in translating seven of the stories while her mother, the late critic Fatma Moussa, helped translate one.

Born in Egypt, Soueif studied English literature at Cairo University and then continued her studies at Lancaster University in England. She taught English and American literature at the Universities of Cairo and Riyad. Soueif has published literary works in English, such as Aisha, In the Eye of the Sun, Sand Paper and The Map of Love.The Guardian published several articles by Soueif  when she worked as a reporter in Palestine during the second Palestinian Intifada of 2000.

The publisher wrote the following about her recent collection of stories:

“In this collection of stories, Ahdaf Soueif, just like in her other works, walks that line separating the East from the West. She evokes the relationship between emigrants and their roots as well as the troubling questions about identity. Her protagonists are always distressed people who combine feelings of nostalgia with a desire to discover the unknown. But Soueif’s nostalgia is that kind of longing to those very tiny details of life which only seem so minute until Soueif weaves them into an entire world that every reader can identify with.”

Book: Zinat al-Hayah (The Ornaments of Life)
Author: ِAhdaf Soueif
Publisher: el-Shorouk, Cairo, 2010
203 medium-size pages

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