The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
A Novel

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Booker Prize Finalist

"Sweeping and evocative--. An unconventional love story."--The Times (London)

With her first novel, In the Eye of the Sun, Ahdaf Soueif garnered comparisons to Tolstoy, Flaubert, and George Eliot.  In her latest novel, which was shortlisted for Britain's prestigious Booker Prize, she combines the romantic skill of the nineteenth-century novelists with a very modern sense of culture and politics--both sexual and international.

At either end of the twentieth century, two women fall in love with men outside their familiar worlds. In 1901, Anna Winterbourne, recently widowed, leaves England for Egypt, an outpost of the Empire roiling with nationalist sentiment. Far from the comfort of the British colony, she finds herself enraptured by the real Egypt and in love with Sharif Pasha al-Baroudi. Nearly a hundred years later, Isabel Parkman, a divorced American journalist and descendant of Anna and Sharif has fallen in love with Omar al-Ghamrawi, a gifted and difficult Egyptian-American conductor with his own passionate politics. In an attempt to understand her conflicting emotions and to discover the truth behind her heritage, Isabel, too, travels to Egypt, and enlists Omar's sister's help in unravelling the story of Anna and Sharif's love.

Joining the romance and intricate storytelling of A.S. Byatt's Possession and Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, Ahdaf Soueif has once again created a mesmerizing tale of genuine eloquence and lasting importance.

About Ahdaf Soueif

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Ahdaf Soueif was born in Cairo. She is the author of Aisha, Sandpiper, In the Eye of the Sun, and the bestselling novel The Map of Love, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999. She also has translated from the Arabic the award-winning memoir I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published January 26, 2011 by Anchor. 546 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Isabel’s life imitates Anna’s to the extent that she too is in love with a native Egyptian: volatile symphony conductor, writer, and political activist Omar, who has fathered her child—perhaps with the aid of a talisman: a piece of a tapestry woven by Anna, depicting the fertility myth of Isis an...

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Publishers Weekly

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Sticklers for narrative detail might chafe at the number of incredible coincidences, including a bizarre twist involving Isabel's mother and Omar, and forsaken plot devices (Isabel's millennium project is never mentioned after her arrival in Egypt).

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Suite 101

With modern translations and insightful commentaries, the eternal treasure is accessible to all.

Feb 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Map of Love: A Novel

London Review of Books

When Tolstoy died in November 1910, one of the principal characters in Ahdaf Soueif’s new novel felt bereaved: ‘I have derived more enjoyment from Anna Karenina and War and Peace,’ Lady Anna Winterbourne notes in her diary, ‘than from any other novels that I have read.’ The Map of Love suggests t...

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Austin Chronicle

Isabel Parkman opens a trunk, and that is how Ahdaf Soueif's glorious novel, The Map of Love, begins.

Jan 12 2001 | Read Full Review of The Map of Love: A Novel

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