Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"Chronicle of A Last Summer" by Yasmine El Rashidi ****

  • Debut novel 
  • Egyptian author
  • Originally published in 2016
  • Review:  
  • Three glimpses into a young woman's life, in Cairo, Egypt:  1984, 1998, 2014. Three different leaders of her country:  Sadat, Mubarak,  and Morsi.   This novella takes glimpses of a culture which seems in perpetual revolution and filters them through the experience of a 10 year old girl whose father disappears for 30 years, a young college film student who wants to capture the life quotidian with her camera rather than revolt, and a mature woman who is still finding her political voice....all one and the same character.  The structure and plot of this piece of historical fiction are interesting.  The writing is not quite as I would hope in terms of richness and emotionality.  The theme of the degree to which one can committ to change was interesting.  It was most heartrending to imagine the decay and increasing distance which the family experienced from within one home over time.  As rivers often symbolize life, and fences, overgrown & neglected shrubbery,  increasingly block the family's sense of connection with the Nile, so does their sense of cultural identity seem to flow away from them.
  • Very interesting novel.  

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