Anne-Marie Drosso’s collection of fourteen short stories guides us through the turbulence of Egyptian modern history – from Gamal Abdel Nasser’s early days of glory, to Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s recent assumption of power. Each story weaves a tapestry of hope, crisis and despair, illustrated through an array of characters trying to make sense of their lives in the face of social change and political turmoil. Drosso fictionalises potent segments of time from the mid-20th century onwards, revisiting illuminative figures from and affiliated with the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’. The collection kicks off with ‘Good Man’, a story based on the life and death of writer and diplomat Herbert Norman (1909-1957), who was the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt (1955-1957) during the Suez Crisis. ‘Lee is Coming’ is loosely based on Lee Miller (1907-1977), the model, muse and photographer, following her divorce from an Egyptian businessman. These personal, often touching tales providea seamless narrative to the Egypt’s tumultuous transitional phase.
Anne-Marie Drosso was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1951. She left in her early twenties for Vancouver, Canada, studying for her Ph.D in Economics, and later completed a Law degree. In 1999, Drosso began writing fiction after returning to Egypt. Her first release was the short story collection, Cairo Stories (Telegram Books, 2007), followed by her first novel, In Their Father's Country (Telegram Books, 2009). Drosso now resides in Vancouver.
These elegant, unadorned narratives of Egyptians at home and at large, as variegated as the city from which they take their name, span classes, continents and decades with confidence and humour. We are in the company of a hugely promising and individual talent.' Aamer Hussein, author of Insomnia. 'A beautiful portrait of life in Egypt. I strongly recommend it.' Alaa al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building. This short story collection examining the inner lives of Egyptians at home and abroad is remarkable for its measured, delicate approach to its subjects...appealingly understated. An interesting collection.' Pulp.net