A Novel Tracks Egypt’s 2011 Revolution and Its Bloody Crackdown

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By Robyn Creswell

By Alaa Al Aswany
Translated by S. R. Fellowes

Alaa Al Aswany’s latest novel begins with an Egyptian general waking up punctually, with “no need of an alarm clock,” for the dawn prayer, which he performs with feelings of “deep and genuine humility.” He spends the rest of the morning overseeing the torture of a political prisoner, though his heart isn’t really in it. He’s worried about his daughter, a medical student who has been posting videos on Facebook that show the police brutalizing civilians.

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