Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



The author of the highly acclaimed The Yacoubian Building returns with a story of love, sex, friendship, hatred, and ambition set in Chicago, with a cast of American and Arab characters achingly human in their desires and needs.

Egyptian and American lives collide on a college campus in post-9/11 Chicago, and crises of identity abound in this extraordinary and eagerly anticipated new novel from Alaa Al Aswany. Among the players are a sixties-style anti-establishment professor whose relationship with a younger African-American woman becomes a moving target for intolerance; a veiled PhD candidate whose belief in the principles of her traditional upbringing is shaken by her exposure to American society; an émigré whose fervent desire to embrace his American identity is tested when he is faced with the issue of his daughter's "honor"; an Egyptian informant who spouts religious doctrines while hankering after money and power; and a dissident student poet who comes to America to finance his literary aspirations but whose experience in Chicago turns out to be more than he bargained for.

Populated by a cast of intriguing, true-to-life characters, Chicago offers an illuminating portrait of America—a complex, often contradictory land in which triumph and failure, opportunity and oppression, licentiousness and tender love, small dramas and big dreams, coexist. Beautifully rendered, Chicago is a powerfully engrossing novel of culture and individuality from one of the most original voices in contemporary world literature.


About Alaa Al Aswany

See more books from this Author
Alaa Al Aswany is the internationally bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building and Chicago. A journalist who writes a controversial opposition column, Al Aswany makes his living as a dentist in Cairo.
Published September 23, 2008 by HarperCollins e-books. 354 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Chicago

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In Al Aswany's follow-up to The Yacoubian Building (2005), Egyptian students and professors find scant refuge in post-9/11 Chicago.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Chicago (P.S.)

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

The novelist Alaa Al Aswany places his emigré characters in post-9/11 Chicago.

Jan 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Chicago (P.S.)

The Telegraph

Instead, his novels, first The Yacoubian Building (2002) and now Chicago, teem with stories about rogues, idealists and monsters whose demons, aspirations and corruptions allow a social and political audit of modern Egypt.

Sep 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Chicago (P.S.)

The Telegraph

The lives of Al Aswany's characters are all precariously constructed around illusions - either devotion to Egyptian culture or an adherence to American notions of individualism - and we watch as the illusions evaporate.

Sep 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Chicago (P.S.)

You can tailor the type of ads you receive by visiting here or to opt out of this type of targeting you can visit the 'Your Online Choices' website by clicking here.

Aug 30 2008 | Read Full Review of Chicago (P.S.)

Cairo 360

meet different characters, mostly Egyptian immigrants, American and Egyptian.

Aug 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Chicago (P.S.)

Reader Rating for Chicago

An aggregated and normalized score based on 68 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review