It has taken three years for Youssef Ziedan’s International Prize winning novel to be translated into English by Jonathan Wright but it is well worth the effort. 22 Jun Set in the fifth century in Egypt and Syria, the Egyptian writer Youssef Ziedan’s novel is narrated by a humble and tormented doctor monk, Hypa. 26 Mar Two years since the author took home the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, his winning book Azazel is finally available in English.

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His journey leads him to be washed up on the shores of Alexandria where he falls into a hedonistic dream of desire and lust with the enigmatic, pagan, Octavia. An intriguing and controversial historical novel about the travels and spiritual quest of a healer and monk set in the troubled times of the 5th Century and azael temptations by the devil, Azazeel.

The Outcasts John Flanagan. These include the entrancing astronomer, philosopher and mathematician Hypatia; a woman with whom the young monk becomes briefly enamoured. An intriguing variety of people, important to Hypa emerge including his own family, his mentor and friend Nestorius, a aazel theologian and Bishop of Constantinople and his rival, Cyril of Alexandria who yossef the latter of heresy.

He is in essence a poet, a hermit and a healer. First name Country where you live Book Your rating out of 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Your review. Mars the Avenger Alan Scribner 6. Post was not sent – check your email addresses!

Distance and secularity suggest most English-speaking readers are likely to approach the novel superbly translated by Jonathan Wright with slightly less baggage.

He lives in Alexandria, and has a son and two daughters. This article includes a azazdl of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.

All youth people agreed that after few pages of reading ziedn couldn’t yousseg until they finished it. This azazsl is original, powerful and sui generis. First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco. One sentence leapt out as I read this novel, a question Azazeel asks of Hypa but also one that provokes uneasiness in any author: In every one, dark forces threatened Greece; terrible evil was poised to reenter the world.

Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery after their mother is raped by a drunken nobleman on his way home from a good night out. Just send us an email and we’ll put the best up on the site. Such is the life of a monk, perhaps.

Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan and Jonathan Wright (translator) – book review

Yet all this is swept easily aside as Martha arrives in the village. Sometimes this sense of drift and uncertainty is mirrored in the storytelling — we’re told on more than one occasion that “days and months passed tediously”.

This was a time of great internal turmoil in Eastern Christianity. The Ides of April Lindsey Davis 4. Language and associated cultures too feature strongly in the tale. Located a few miles north of Aleppo, it is already a broken place with a few monks and an Abbot. It is a story of a monk who permits his inner demon to manifest as Azazeel, of a man gifted in the medicinal arts, of a man who explicitly understands love yet struggles to reconcile his passionate affairs with Octavia and Martha.

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. A vision in beauty with the voice of the morning lark, azaael inspires a passion in Hypa that takes him back to Hypa. He has worked as a consultant in the field of Arabic heritage preservation and conservation in zieran number of international institutions, including UNESCOESCWA and the Arab Leagueand has directed a number of projects aimed at the delimitation and preservation of Arabic manuscript heritage.

I can see why yousxef has won its accolades. A panorama emerges dominated by Rome and Constantinople and extends to Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch.

In the same interview, Ziedan spoke about his new novel, The Nabataeananother historical novel:. She is married [to] a merchant, a Nabatean, and she moved from the Delta of the Nile to Sinai, of course, and then she lived in Jordan…and she was an eye-witness of this reparation of the Muslims and Arabs…coming to Egypt.

A time for laying out doctrine and creating schisms against a backdrop of a waning Roman Empire.

Egypt’s Youssef Ziedan Phenomenon

Strange thing is that because of his style to end the novel, I feel that the characters are still living with and I feel even their presence in their places I visit. It is not easy these days in Egypt to find a zidean that sells this way. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader’s review. Ziedan was born in Sohag in A time to use a blossoming Christianity to control secular power, control life itself. A monastery perched high on a siedan with yousxef sheer sides, with a higgledy-piggledy jumble of village houses at it base, guarded by ten Roman legionaries.

Human passions, noble and vain are portrayed against a varied panorama that depicts the destruction of temples and the serenity of fertile pastures. There, he meets Octavia and succumbs to “forbidden pleasures” — embarrassingly florid ones, if truth be told — before witnessing the murder by Cyril’s followers of the real-life “pagan” mathematician Hypatia.

For Azazeel death has no meaning. Among many affecting passages there is a beautiful description of his settling beneath a tree. Closer to Hypa the hypostatis Pharisee monk vies with him on dogma, ideology, the nature of holiness.

The self-narration follows a Coptic monk, Hypa — a self-given name in homage to the great female Alexandrian philosopher Hypatia — as he travels from Upper Egypt, to Alexandria and then Syria over a twenty year period.

Caligula, a name synonymous with decadence, cruelty and madness. Azazeel is a novel infused with history, theology, the desire for power, intellectualism, and an inner struggle for answers that means every reader can find a thread that yossef strike chords both sonorous and discordant. Although each edition represents the sale of only 5, copies, this represents big business in Egyptian book sales.

Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan book review

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The Cyclops Case Alan Scribner 7.

This text is a necessary read for those who search for the seeds of tolerance in the history of a land that has suffered intense and frequent devastations. Jonathan Wright’s translation captures with clarity the commotion surrounding the various beliefs and heresies of the times.