Click here and buy Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery from So the narrator’s father placates and sends away all Safiyya’s many. This brief, beautifically crafted novel introduces one of the finest contemporary Arab novelists to English-speaking audiences. In it, Bahaa’ Taher, one of a group . of the history of the village and the monastery (Chapter One, “The. Miqaddis Bishai”), events proceed uninterrupted to tell Aunt Safiyya’ s story (Chapter Two.
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A religious village leader and a kindly monk conspire to protect the pursued man and to instill more human standards of conduct.
Asubtle, complex love story, three-dimensional characters and a fully realizedsocial world. It is a tale of honor and of the terrible demands of blood vengeance; it probes the question of how a people or nation can become divided against itself. This is probably the first English translation of any of Bahaa’ Taher’s fiction.
Taher has a magical gift for evoking the village life of Upper Egypt-a vastly different setting than urban Cairo and a landscape that tourists usually glimpse only sfaiyya the swfiyya of trains and buses taking them to the Pharaonic sites.
Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery by Bahaa’ Taher – Paperback – University of California Press
Romaine safiyys rendered an immense service to non-Arabic readers by introducing them to an important writer of the Arab world. But the entirely personal and private flavor of it takes its strength from the vignettes of the main characters.
The translator’s introduction is quite perceptive and useful, though the style is sometimes redundant. Taher’s abilities as a storytellerand stylist shine.
Bahaa’s style reflects his tender feelings and a sense of nostalgia for the past, the ‘good old’ and peaceful days. He is one of the Arab world’s major writers. About the Author Bahaa’ Taherwho lives in Geneva, has written three novels and several collections of short stories.
The characters are complex and realistic – the wise ones recognizing both the past and the future in a country just stripped of the Sinai in war.
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This novel, his most recent, is the first to appear in English. He enriches modern Arabic literature with an evocation of aspects of society and tradition that have not always received a great deal of attention from fiction writers. Safiyya, the narrator’s aunt, is an orphan girl who was taken in by his qnd and brought up by them.
This slim, taut novel is a very good answer to anyone who believes Egypt is only about Nasser, one-eyed Nefertiti idols, or political irresolve.
Moreover, he handles both topics extremely well. Reviews and Readers comments on Bahaa Taher’s Novel.
I only used the glossary once – for curiousity not meaning. And I’d quite comfortable but the introduction at the back Hence a translation of one of his works is particularly welcome. The story weaves together a tale social difference Muslim, Copt, tenent farmer. When a village woman invokes the ancient custom of blood feud to seek vengeance on the man who, in self-defense, has killed her husband, the monastery offers him sanctuary. Taher has a magical gift for evoking anx village life of Upper Egypt—a vastly different setting than urban Cairo and a landscape that tourists usually glimpse only from the windows of trains and buses taking them to the Pharaonic sites.
It is taken for granted that. His novel is describing the life in a southern village in Egypt where Copts Egyptian Christians and Moslems Egyptian Moslems lived together in peace and harmony for centuries.
Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery- Novel by Bahaa Taher
The text also flows idiomatically. This is a significant alliance. And if, like most translations of writings by contemporary Egyptians, this English rendering is superior to the Arabic original, then the latter must be sophomoric indeed. Here, where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully for centuries, where the traditions of the Coptic Church are as powerful as those of the Muslims, Taher crafts an intricate and compelling tale of far-reaching implications.
Add it to your “must read” list – you’ll be well rewarded. The bey then develops a paranoid belief that Harbi intends to kidnap and harm the infant. About the Book This brief, beautifically crafted novel introduces one of the finest contemporary Arab novelists to English-speaking audiences.
It would be great if he would consider writing a romance. The book stands quite well on its own, thankyou. This is a fascinating novel by a fine and very distinguished writer. This book should be a must read for all schoolchildren in Egypt to teach them about Egyptian history of tolerance and peace.
Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery
Simply told, without adornment or much authorial intrusion, this is a brief tragedy abd resonances wider than its village setting.
Reviews “Taher is by far the best and most original contemporary Egyptian writer. The narrator’s father and an old monk, Bishai, join forces–Muslim and Christian–to protect Harbi.
The novelist’s style is so tender and his words flow soft like saffiyya. Bahaa’ Taher is questioning the source of this evil, hate, and violence that evolved between the peoples of the same land.