Episode

World Book Club

BBC World Service

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

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Personal Journals 45

World Book Club invites the globe's great authors to discuss their best known novel. Presented by Harriett Gilbert, includes questions from World Service listeners.

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Ahdaf Soueif

September 12th, 2007

Episode 159 of 340 episodes

At this crucial moment in Egypt’s story, this month’s World Book Club talks to one of the country’s great writers, Ahdaf Soueif, about her internationally acclaimed novel The Map of Love. In her Booker-shortlisted bestseller Soueif weaves together two poignant stories separated by a century of Egyptian history: a love story between aristocratic English Anna Winterbourne and romantic firebrand Sharif al-Baroudi, is set amidst the brutality of British imperialism and the fierce political battles of the Egyptian Nationalists. This tale reaches across time to an account of their descendants negotiating passions and political unrest in late 20th Century Egypt. We hear how Soueif had originally set out to write a ‘tawdry romance’ but hadn’t managed to stop herself writing something much more meaningful and monumental! Listen to this great Egyptian voice clearly and compellingly explain exactly what has gone wrong in Egypt, in her eyes, over the last decade.

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