Solomon Kugel has had enough of the past and its burdens. So, in the hope of starting afresh, he moved his family to a small rural town where nothing of import has ever happened. Sadly, Kugel's life isn't that simple. His family soon find themselves threatened by a local arsonist and his ailing mother won't stop reminiscing about the Nazi concentration camps she didn't actually suffer through. And when, one night, Kugel discovers a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history hiding in his attic, bad very quickly becomes worse. (Blurb on back of paperback)
This novel won the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize for Jewish Literature in February of this year. Upon receiving the award, Shalom's acceptance speech was quite literally brilliant with his wicked sense of humour shining through. In true Auslander style he ended by thanking everyone "for literally nothing".
As political change sweeps the streets and squares, parliaments and presidential palaces of the Arab world, Shereen El Feki has been looking at upheaval a little closer to home - in the sexual lives of men and women in Egypt and across the region. The result is an informative, insightful and engaging account of a highly sensitive, and still largely secret, aspect of Arab society.
Sex is entwined in religion and tradition, politics and economics, gender and generations, so it makes the perfect lens for examining the region's complex social landscape. From pregnant virgins to desperate housewives, from fearless activists to religious firebrands, from sex work to same-sex relations, Sex and the Citadel takes a fresh look at the Arab region and gives us unique and timely insight into everyday lives in a part of the world that is changing in front of our very eyes. (Blurb on back of paperback).
Shireen El Feki is a writer, broadcaster and academic who started her professional life in medical science before going on to become an award-winning journalist with The Economist and a presenter with Al Jazeera English. She is the former vice-chair of the UN's Global Commission on HIV and the Law, as well as TED Global Fellow. She writes for several publications and divides her time between Cairo and London.