The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany: stock image of front cover.

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany (Paperback, 2007)

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The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany

An international bestseller, The Yacoubian Building is a mesmerising and controversial novel that is at once an impasssioned celebration and a ruthless dissection of a society dominated by bribery and corruption.

The Yacoubian Building – once grand, but now dilapidated – stands on one of Cairo's main boulevards. Taha, the doorman's son, has aspirations beyond the slum in the skies, and dreams of one day becoming a policeman. He studies hard, and passes all the exams, but when he is rejected because his family is neither rich nor influential, the bitterness sets in. His girlfriend, Busayna, finds herself unable to earn a living without also providing sexual services for the men who hire her. When Taha seeks solace in a student Islamic organisation, the pressure mounts, and he is drawn to actions with devastating consequences.

The Yacoubian Building follows Taha's trajectory from innocence to tragedy. The people whose lives orbit his – the inhabitants of the building – are also facing their own difficult choices. From those living in squalid and cramped conditions on the rooftops, to the homosexual editor of Le Caire newspaper and a womanising aristocrat, all of the contradictions in Egyptian society are here. Religious feelings live side by side with promiscuity; bribery and exploitation alternate with moments of joy and elation; modernity clashes with the vision of a more ancient society.

Alaa Al Aswany's mesmerising novel caused an unprecedented stir when it was published in Egypt. It is at once an impassioned celebration and a ruthless dissection of a society dominated by bribery and corruption.


Format: Paperback | 256 pages

Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.6  x 1.7 | 262g

Publication Date: 03 Sep 2007

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Imprint: Harper Perennial

Publication City/Country: London, United Kingdom

Language: English

ISBN10: 0007243626

ISBN13: 9780007243624


Condition: Good

A book that has been read but is in good condition. Very minimal damage to the cover including a minor crease on the top-left corner of the back cover, but no holes or tears. The majority of pages are undamaged with very minimal creasing but no tearing. No pencil underlining of text, no highlighting of text, no writing in margins. There is a small circular black stamp on the top-right corner of the first page that reads: "The Willows Retirement Village". No missing pages.