Someone Else’s Egypt Book List

It must be “Egypt fiction” week, as Donna McIlvain posted a list just before me on her “Bookpaths” blog. Hers, however, are books not so much by Egyptians (some, of course, are) but about Egypt, often by Westerners. The list includes Rodenbeck’s Cairo: The City Victorious, its stated aim is to take you on a trip to different cities.

I feel remiss in not noting Yusuf Abu Rayya (1955-2009) on my list, whose Wedding Night I greatly enjoyed. A few other books “about” Egypt deserve mention: Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land, and Durrell’s books set in Alexandria, of course.

Other choices seem quite random: I assume  The night of the dog: a Mamur Zapt mystery (Michael Pearce) and The ape who guards his balance: an Amelia Peabody mystery (Elizabeth Peters) are both set in Egypt, but….

She also has a list for Algeria.

My Egypt book list, which (for better or worse) only lists…Egyptians.


  1. Hi there..
    I believe Youssef abu Rayya passed away last year (or maybe early this year?). It was mentioned in an issue of Banipal that I got from AUC a few days ago and Denys Johnson-Davies wrote a small obituary on him.
    I tried to search online for any indication on when exactly he died but all the sites on him don’t mention anything!
    I can get you the exact information when I go home tonight.

Comments are closed.