Item description for Love In Exile by Baha Tahir...
Unwilling to recant his Nasserist beliefs, the unnamed narrator is an Egyptian journalist in a self-imposed exile in Europe after conflict with the management of his newspaper and a divorce from his wife. Absorbed in introspection over his impotent position at the paper and in ill health, he suddenly finds himself faced with two issues he cannot ignore: the escalating tensions in Israeli-occupied Lebanon and, more personally, an unexpected love affair with a much younger Austrian woman, Brigitte. The narrator's familial exile has left him a ''long-distance father'' facing the difficulties of raising children from whom he is rapidly growing distant. His son is drifting into fundamentalism while his daughter falls under the materialistic sway of the West. After struggling mightily to remain part of their lives, he finds himself marginalized and rejected. Brigitte, also an exile of sorts, encourages him to turn his back on the problems and pressures of the everyday world and cocoon himself in the warmth of their love. However, the horror of events surrounding the occupation of Lebanon in 1982 soon shocks them out of their contentment and safety. The issues of love, regret, complacency, and complicity are explored in this haunting work. Bahaa Taher's highly original novel--''an expansive vision that encompasses world and homeland, north and south, self and other'' (I'tidal Osman, Nidaa magazine)--is eminently captured by Farouk Abdel Wahab's fluid translation.
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Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.5" Weight: 1.55 lbs.
Release Date Oct 18, 2004
Publisher American University in Cairo Press
ISBN 9774246721 ISBN13 9789774246722
Availability 0 units.
More About Baha Tahir
Bahaa Taher, one of Egypt's leading writers, is the author of Love in Exile (AUC Press, paperback edition in 2005). In 2008 he was awarded the first International Prize for Arabic Fiction (the 'Arabic Booker').
Bahaa Taher currently resides in Cairo. Bahaa Taher was born in 1935.
Reviews - What do customers think about Love In Exile?
I found this work to be very personal... Sep 5, 2007
I met Bahaa Taher in Egypt earlier this year and spoke with him for about an hour-and-a-half. I basically was interested to hear about his work of late, mainly Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery, which I had read about and hoped to buy somewhere in translation. The meeting between Bahaa Taher and myself was arranged by the manager of the Diwan Bookstore in Zamelek (Cairo). Although the bookstore did not have the Aunt Safiyya book that I was looking for, they did have Love in Exile, which Bahaa Taher and I did not really discuss at any length. Nevertheless, I did buy this one and read it on my way back to Bangkok via Dubai.
I found that as I read this book I could see that the main character was more than loosely based upon the author's own autobiographical story. I could see Bahaa Taher speaking when reading the dialogue of the protagonist. They shared the same dreams and the same disillusionments, both having been journalists with fervent causes, Gamal Nasser supporters, pan-Arabists. Both had moved to Europe and struggled with their lives in exile with their bodies in their new homes and their hearts in Egypt. Bahaa's main character was tortured, mentally tormented by the family that he lost when his first marriage broke up and the fundamentalist changes in his formerly feminist ex-wife and son; his son striving to control his younger sister with fundamentalist Islamic values that she did not share. In Switzerland, enter a younger European woman to become his lover, an opportunist Egyptian emigre who will use anyone to grab for his own straws of success and a former colleague who, as a former communist, stood as the main antagonistic reminder that the future Egypt that our hero and his wife had striven for is now forever gone. Add heart trouble and hypertension to the mix and the story meanders easily from the page to your imagination.