The author of the highly-acclaimed The Yacoubian Building returns with a story of love, sex, friendship, hatred, and ambition set in Chicago with a cast of American and Arab characters achingly human in their desires and needs.
Egyptian and American lives collide on a college campus in post-9/11 Chicago, and crises of identity abound in this extraordinary and eagerly anticipated new novel from Alaa al Aswany. Among the players are a sixties-style antiestablishment professor whose relationship with a younger African American woman becomes a moving target for intolerance; a veiled PhD candidate whose conviction in the principles of her traditional upbringing is shaken by her exposure to American society; an émigré whose fervent desire to embrace his American identity is tested when he is faced with the issue of his daughter's "honor"; an Egyptian informant who spouts religious doctrines while hankering after money and power; and a dissident student poet who comes to America to finance his literary aspirations, but whose experience in Chicago turns out to be more than he bargained for.
Populated by a cast of intriguing, true-to-life characters, Chicago offers an illuminating portrait of America--a complex, often contradictory land in which triumph and failure, opportunity and oppression, licentiousness and tender love, small dramas and big dreams coexist. Beautifully rendered, Chicago is a powerfully engrossing novel of culture and individuality from one of the most original voices in contemporary world literature.