The Book Of Cairo A City In Short Fiction

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The Book of Cairo : A City in Short Fiction

Travel

Author - Ahmed Naji
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 112
ISBN - 1912697173


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Detail - A corrupt police officer trawls the streets of Cairo on the most important assignment of his career: the answer to the truth of all existence… A young journalist struggles over the obituary of a nightclub dancer… A man slowly loses his mind in one of the city’s new desert developments.. There is a saying that, whoever you are, if you come to Cairo you will find a hundred people just like you. For over a thousand years, the city on the banks of the Nile has welcomed travellers from around the world. But in recent years Cairo has also been a stage for expressions of short-lived hope, political disappointments and a violent repression that can barely be written about. These ten short stories showcase some of the most exciting, emerging voices in Egypt, guiding us through one of the world’s largest and most historic cities as it is today – from its slums to its villas, its bars and its balconies, through its infamous traffic. Appearing in English for the first time, these stories evoke the sadness and loss of the modern city, as well as its humour and beauty. Translated by Adam Talib, Raphael Cohen, Basma Ghalayini, Thoraya El-Rayyes, Raph Cormack, Andrew Leber, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Elisabeth Jaquette, Kareem James Abu-Zeid & Yasmine Seale.

The Book of Khartoum : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Ali al-Makk
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 96
ISBN - 1905583729


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Detail - Khartoum, according to one theory, takes its name from the Beja word hartooma, meaning meeting place . Geographically, culturally and historically, the Sudanese capital is certainly that: a meeting place of the Blue and White Niles, a confluence of Arabic and African histories, and a destination point for countless refugees displaced by Sudan s long, troubled history of forced migration. In the pages of this book the first major anthology of Sudanese stories to be translated into English the city also stands as a meeting place for ideas: where the promise and glamour of the big city meets its tough social realities; where traces of a colonial past are still visible in day-to-day life; where the dreams of a young boy, playing in his fathers shop, act out a future that may one day be his. Diverse literary styles also come together here: the political satire of Ahmed al-Malik; the surrealist poetics of Bushra al-Fadil; the social realism of the first postcolonial authors; and the lyrical abstraction of the new Iksir generation. As with any great city, it is from these complex tensions that the best stories begin. "An exciting, long-awaited collection showcasing some of Sudan's finest writers. There is urgency behind the deceptively languorous voices and a piercing vitality to the shorter forms. These writers lay claim over the contradictions and fusions of the capital city - Nile and drought, urbanization and village ties, what is African and what is Arab." - Leila Aboulela

The Book of Gaza : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Atef Abu Saif
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 128
ISBN -


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Detail - Under the Israeli occupation of the '70s and '80s, writers in Gaza had to go to considerable lengths to ever have a chance of seeing their work in print. Manuscripts were written out longhand, invariably under pseudonyms, and smuggled out of the Strip to Jerusalem, Cairo or Beirut, where they then had to be typed up. Consequently, fiction grew shorter, novels became novellas, and short stories flourished as the city's form of choice. Indeed, to Palestinians elsewhere, Gaza became known as 'the exporter of oranges and short stories'. This anthology brings together some of the pioneers of the Gazan short story from that era, as well as younger exponents of the form, with ten stories that offer glimpses of life in the Strip that go beyond the global media headlines; stories of anxiety, oppression, and violence, but also of resilience and hope, of what it means to be a Palestinian, and how that identity is continually being reforged; stories of ordinary characters struggling to live with dignity in what many have called 'the largest prison in the world'.

The Book of Tbilisi : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Gela Chkvanava
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 160
ISBN - 1910974315


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Detail - A rookie reporter, searching for his first big story, re-opens a murder case that once saw crowds of protestors surround Tbilisi's central police station... A piece of romantic graffiti chalked outside a new apartment block sends its residents into a social media frenzy, trying to identify the two lovers implicated by it.... A war-orphaned teenager looks after his dying sister in an abandoned railway carriage on the edge of town, hoping that someday soon the state will take care of them... In the 26 years since Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union, the country and its capital, Tbilisi, have endured unimaginable hardships: one coup d'état, two wars with Russia, the cancer of organised crime, and prolonged periods of brutalising, economic depression. Now, as the city begins to flourish again – drawing hordes of tourists with its eclectic architecture and famous, welcoming spirit – it's difficult to reconcile the recent past with this glamorous and exotic present. With wit, warmth, heartbreaking realism, and a distinctly Georgian sense of neighbourliness, these ten stories do just that. 'Acts as an introduction to a literature quite neglected by the Anglophone world... the language consistently has the direct, clean and unadorned quality of great fiction.' – Luke Kennard. ‘A soaring, searing collection – important new stories that are sure to live long in the memory.’ – Eley Williams, author of Attrib. Published with the support of the Georgian National Book Center and the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.

The Book of Tokyo : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Hideo Furukawa
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 180
ISBN -


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Detail - A shape-shifter arrives at Tokyo harbour in human form, set to embark on an unstoppable rampage through the city’s train network… A young woman is accompanied home one night by a reclusive student, and finds herself lured into a flat full of eerie Egyptian artefacts… A man suspects his young wife’s obsession with picnicking every weekend in the city’s parks hides a darker motive… At first, Tokyo appears in these stories as it does to many outsiders: a city of bewildering scale, awe-inspiring modernity, peculiar rules, unknowable secrets and, to some extent, danger. Characters observe their fellow citizens from afar, hesitant to stray from their daily routines to engage with them. But Tokyo being the city it is, random encounters inevitably take place – a naïve book collector, mistaken for a French speaker, is drawn into a world he never knew existed; a woman seeking psychiatric help finds herself in a taxi with an older man wanting to share his own peculiar revelations; a depressed divorcee accepts an unexpected lunch invitation to try Thai food for the very first time… The result in each story is a small but crucial change in perspective, a sampling of the unexpected yet simple pleasure of other people’s company. As one character puts it, ‘The world is full of delicious things, you know.’

The Book of Riga : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Pauls Bankovskis
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 144
ISBN - 1910974471


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Detail - A suicide attempt, staged to attract as much attention as possible, from the top of St. Peter’s Church, quickly evolves into an outlandish and absurd, televised spectacle... When a PA is invited into her boss’s office one day to observe a protest unfold, just as he predicts, in the streets below, she begins to suspect his powers of foresight might extend beyond mere business matters... Finally moving into the house of her dreams, on the island of Kīpsala, a single mother discovers a strange affinity with the previous occupant... Riga may be over 800 years old as a city, but its status as capital of an independent Latvia is only a century old, with half of that time spent under Soviet rule. Despite this, it has established itself as a vibrant, creative hub, attracting artists, performers, and writers from across the Baltic region. The stories gathered here chronicle this growth and on-going transformation, and offer glimpses into the dark humour, rich history, contrasting perspectives, and love of the mythic, that sets the city’s artistic community apart. As its history might suggest, Riga is a work in progress; and for many of the characters in these stories, it is the possibilities of what the city might become, more than merely what it is now, that drives the imagination of its people. This book is published with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and The Latvian Writers Union. Foreword by former President of Latvia (1999-2007) Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. Translated from the Latvian by Kaija Straumanis, Suzanne McQuade, Uldis Balodis, Ieva Lešinska, Mārta Ziemelis and Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini.

The Book of Istanbul : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Jim Hinks
Publisher - Carcanet Press
Pages - 114
ISBN - 9781905583317


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Detail - Both intelligent and accessible, this collection pulls readers into the heart of Turkish culture, politics, and history through multifarious narrative frameworks. The testimonials, memories, and confessions that weave through the pages not only birth a new concept of Turkish life from previously unsung voices, but also tell universal truths about living to which anyone can relate—regardless of background, language, or creed. Providing an enriched experience and taste of modern urban Turkey, these short stories paint Istanbul with many colors, shades, and tones with a luxury that cannot always be afforded by the novel.

The Book of Birmingham : A City in Short Fiction

Social Science

Author - Kit de Waal
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 144
ISBN - 1912697165


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Detail - Few cities have undergone such a radical transformation over the last few decades as Birmingham. Culturally and architecturally, it has been in a state of perpetual flux and regeneration, with new communities moving in, then out, and iconic post-war landmarks making way for brighter-coloured, 21st century flourishes. Much like the city itself, the characters in the stories gathered here are often living through moments of profound change, closing in on a personal or societal turning point, that carries as much threat as it does promise. Set against key moments of history – from Malcolm X’s visit to Smethwick in 1965, to the Handsworth riots two decades later, from the demise of the city’s manufacturing in the 70s and 80s, to the on-going tensions between communities in recent years – these stories celebrate the cultural dynamism that makes this complex, often divided ‘second city’ far more than just the sum of its parts.

The Book of Dhaka : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Wasi Ahmed
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 164
ISBN - 190558380X


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Detail - Dhaka may be one of the most densely populated cities in the world - noisy, grid-locked, short on public amenities, and blighted with sprawling slums - but, as these stories show, it is also one of the most colourful and chaotically joyful places you could possibly call home. Slum kids and film stars, day-dreaming rich boys, gangsters and former freedom fighters all rub shoulders in these streets, often with Dhaka's famous rickshaws ferrying them to and fro across cultural, economic and ethnic divides. Just like Dhaka itself, these stories thrive on the rich interplay between folk culture and high art; they both cherish and lampoon the city's great tradition of political protest, and they pay tribute to a nation that was borne out of a love of language, one language in particular, Bangla (from which all these stories have been translated).

Farewell to Alexandria :

Literary Collections

Author - Charēs Tzalas
Publisher - American Univ in Cairo Press
Pages - 213
ISBN - 9789774248108


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Detail - The eleven short stories in this book take us back to an Alexandria past, the cosmopolitan city as it was experienced by the author in the years before, during, and following the Second World War. Against a backdrop of major events in Alexandria's history, from the halcyon days of the late 1930s, through the alarums of the War, to the 1952 Revolution and the dispersion of almost the entire foreign community of the city, Tzalas weaves his stories peopled with characters from his youth. These are ordinary people, people of different nationalities and faiths, but all Alexandrians, living side by side in the Great City. In describing each character with great sensitivity and perception, Tzalas succeeds not only in capturing the essence of the city itself, but in poignantly foretelling the fundamental changes and exodus that were to come. The events surrounding, among others, a German family caught in the city during the Second World War, three French monks, an old Greek musician, and a group of cultivated elderly Alexandrian gentlemen, are told with an affection often tinged with sadness. Through these characters, Tzalas tells the story of everyday lives caught up in the turbulent currents of history and the transformation of a beloved city the end of an era. Each of the eleven stories is accompanied by an evocative illustration by Anna Boghiguian.

The Book of Tehran : A City in Short Fiction

Fiction

Author - Fereshteh Ahmadi
Publisher - Comma Press
Pages - 208
ISBN - 1912697181


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Detail - A city of stories – short, fragmented, amorphous, and at times contradictory – Tehran is an impossible tale to tell. For the capital city of one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East, its literary output is rarely acknowledged in the West. This unique celebration of its writing brings together ten stories exploring the tensions and pressures that make the city what it is: tensions between the public and the private, pressures from without – judgemental neighbours, the expectations of religion and society – and from within – family feuds, thwarted ambitions, destructive relationships. The psychological impact of these pressures manifests in different ways: a man wakes up to find a stranger relaxing in his living room and starts to wonder if this is his house at all; a struggling writer decides only when his girlfriend breaks his heart will his work have depth... In all cases, coping with these pressures leads us, the readers, into an unexpected trove of cultural treasures – like the burglar, in one story, descending into the basement of a mysterious antique collector’s house – treasures of which we, in the West, are almost wholly ignorant. Translated by: Sara Khalili, Sholeh Wolpé, Alireza Abiz, Caroline Croskery, Farzaneh Doosti, Shahab Vaezzadeh, Niloufar Talebi, Lida Nosrati, Susan Niazi and Poupeh Missaghi. Foreword by Orkideh Behrouzan. Developed in partnership with Visiting Arts.

Cairo :

Architecture

Author - Nezar AlSayyad
Publisher - Harvard University Press
Pages - 325
ISBN - 0674047869


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Detail - Nezar AlSayyad narrates the many Cairos that have existed through time, offering a panorama unmatched in temporal and geographic scope, through an in-depth examination of the city’s architecture and urban form. His narration illuminates how there can be “no one history of the city, but rather multiple, contested, and often invented histories.”