Friendly Fire, Paperback Book

Friendly Fire Paperback

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The new book from Alaa Al Aswany, author of the international bestseller `The Yacoubian Building' and `Chicago'.`Friendly Fire' is a novella and collection of short stories from Alaa Al Aswany, author of the bestselling `The Yacoubian Building'.

As in that novel, Al Aswany dissects modern Egyptian society and, with skill and detachment, reveals the hypocrisy, violence and abuse of power characteristic of a world in moral crisis.

Here, though, the focus has shifted from the broad historical canvas to the minute stitches of pain that hold together an individual, a family, a school classroom and the relationship between a man and a woman.

Can a man so alienated from his society that he regards all its members as no better than microbes wriggling under a microscope survive within it?

Can cynical religiosity triumph over human decency? Can a man put the thought of a delicious dish of beans behind him long enough to mourn his father's death?

Alongside these wry questions, other, less mordant perspectives also have their place: an ageing cabaret dancer bestows the blessing of a vanished world on her lover's son; a crippled boy wins subjective victory from objective disaster.

In `Friendly Fire', readers will find again the vivid, passionate characters of today's Cairo, clamouring to be heard.`Friendly Fire' also features an introduction by Alaa Al Aswany giving the history of the novella, `The Isam Abd el-Ati Papers', which was banned in Egypt for a decade.

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