Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Beginnings

Hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages.

"Before the crimson rays of dawn touched the treetops, before the crow of the cock, the bark of the dog, or the bray of a donkey pierced through the heavy darkness, or the voice of Sheikh Hamzawi echoed in the silence with the first call to prayer, the big wooden door opened slowly, creaking, with the rusty sound of an ancient waterwheel."

God Dies by the Nile by Nawal El Saadawi (1974) Egypt, pb,138 pages, translated from the Arabic

I really liked this opening, just my cup of tea for a novel's writing style. I have to believe that I will enjoy this book. I own three others by this author, including two non fiction books about her experiences as a medical doctor and as a prisoner in Egypt. I've liked everything I read by her and can recommend them highly.

Twenty years ago when my budget was bigger her books were very difficult to find in English. I must thank Christina at The Blue Bookcase who generously sent me God Dies by the Nile after my comments on her review of it here. She read it as the June selection for A Year of Feminist Classics.

Leave links if you've reviewed this author, I'd love to read them. Have you read any good fiction of modern Egyptian authors or settings?


  1. Very nice! I have not even heard of this author :)

  2. Very intriguing. If you finish it before the end of July please post a link on my Middle East Reading Challenge as I am sure people would like to learn about a good Egypt book.

  3. I like's suspenseful. It hints at mysterious things ahead.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. I love how that first sentence sets the scene, evoking all those sounds and introducing us to the world. I think that's what a first line should do: place you somewhere.

  5. Ooh this sounds like it's beautifully written :) I hope the rest of it stays that way too!

  6. With all the unrest in Egypt the past few months, I've been looking to read more about life over there. I will definitely check Saadawi out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. O I like that. It reads like the opening of a classic.

    Great teaser!

    Here is my BBF :)

  8. this sounds wonderful! the beginning you quoted is very poetic.

  9. I read Searching and it was good, except for some few places. She's created a sub-genre all her own.

  10. I like the imagery of that first line. It's poetic and lovely.

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!

  11. Thanks for the shout-out! I'm glad you like it so far. Can't wait to read your review.

  12. The book sounds like my cup of tea.



"25 Books That Caused A Commotion" (1) 4 1/2 stars (5) 4 stars (6) 5 stars (8) American literature (21) Asian American authors (1) Australian literature (3) book awards (10) book giveaways (23) book news (4) booking through thursday (3) Books Read This Week (2) Books TBR in 2009 (1) Burma (1) Cambodia (2) Canada (11) Canadian lit (3) Canadian literature (11) Columbian literature (1) Cover Attraction (3) doctors (1) education (1) elephants (1) England (3) English literature (5) environment (1) epistolary fiction (4) Ex-Cottagers in Love (1) family (3) fiction (2) five stars (2) forewords (1) four and a half stars (1) four stars (1) French literature (3) Friday Finds (6) Giller Prize (2) Giller Prize longlist (1) Giller Prize Winner 2008 (1) guest reviews (10) Hachette (2) haiku (4) Haiku Friday (5) historical fiction (6) humour (1) immigrants (1) Index of Books Reviewed (1) interview (1) Iraq (1) Israel (2) Israeli literature (1) It's Monday What are you reading this week? (2) Italian literature (1) Italy (1) Jerusalem (1) Jewish Book Month (3) Jewish Literature (6) Jewish Literature Challenge (2) Judaism (1) Latin American literature (1) Latin American Reading Challenge (1) library books (1) Library Loot (28) Library Loot July 22 (1) literary fiction (38) literature (20) literature in translation (1) love stories (2) Mailbox Monday (19) male friendship (1) marriage (1) medicine (1) memoir (1) music (1) Musing Mondays (2) My Favourite Reads (1) my work (1) mystery (1) Native Canadians (1) New Crayons (6) New Crayons July 5 (1) New England (1) New York (1) Nigeria (1) Nigerian literature (1) Nobel author (3) Nobel authors (1) Nobel Laureate (1) non-fiction (1) Norway (1) Norwegian literature (1) Nova Scotia (1) Orange Prize (2) ornithology (1) Orthodox Judaism (1) psychological fiction (3) Pulitzer Project (1) rating system (1) Read 'Em Yet? Wednesday (1) Read in 2008 (1) reading challenges (62) reading challenges 2010 (1) reviews (46) Russia (1) Russian literature (1) Salon Sunday (1) Scandinavian mystery (1) short stories (2) Show Me 5 Saturday (2) Spanish literature (2) Sunday Salon (3) The Complete Booker Reading Challenge (1) The Martel-Harper Challenge (1) The Sunday Salon (12) Thursday Tea (4) Toronto (1) translation (2) triplets (1) TSS (2) TSS June in Review (1) TSS March in Review (1) TSS May in Review (1) TSS Week in Review (2) Turkish literature (2) Venice (1) Waiting on Wednesday (8) Waiting on Wednesday July 15 (1) war stories (2) Weekly Geeks (11) What Are You Reading On Mondays? (10) What's On Your Nightstand? (8) winners (14) women writers (2) Wondrous Words (1) Wordless Wednesday (3) writers (1) WW II (2) Wyoming (1)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin