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Unlike The Literary Atlas of Cairo, which focuses on the literary geopolitics of the cityscape, this companion volume immerses the reader in the complex network of socioeconomic and cultural lives in the city. The seven chapters first introduce the reader to representations of some of Cairo's prominent profiles, both political and cultural, and their impact on the city's literary geography, before presenting a spectrum of readings of the city by its multiethnic, multinational, and multilingual writers across class, gender, and generation. Daunting images of colonial school experiences and startling contrasts of postcolonial educational realities are revealed, while Cairo's moments of political participation and oppression are illustrated, as well as the space accorded to women within the city across history and class. Together, The Literary Atlas of Cairo and The Literary Life of Cairo produce a literary geography of Cairo that goes beyond the representation of space in literature to reconstruct the complex network of human relationships in that space.
About the Author
Samia Mehrez is professor of Arabic literature in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Civilization and director of the Center for Translation Studies at the American University in Cairo. She is the author of The Literary Atlas of Cairo(AUC Press, 2010).