Reviews

One-minute Review: /The Zafarani Files/, Gamal el-Ghitani

One-minute Review: /The Zafarani Files/, Gamal el-Ghitani
The Zafarani Files. By Gamal el-Ghitani, translated by Farouk Abdel Wahab. American University in Cairo Press: Cairo, 2009. 344 pages. In The Zafarani Files, as in Saramago’s Blindness, mysterious illness spreads. Life is disrupted. People shed their old skins and new selves are revealed. But in Zafarani, it’s not vision that disappears, but the virility of one’s men. It’s less clear how women are affected; in any case, the book’s women show an astounding lack of creativity in addressing the problem. TZF, which appeared in Arabic in 1976 and only now in English, depicts a large number of people from Zafarani alley---the first place to suffer the potency crisis---and is salted with heavy doses of Egyptian humor. We get good ...
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