In the Eye of the Sun

In the Eye of the Sun Set amidst the turmoil of contemporary Middle Eastern politics this vivid and highly acclaimed novel by an Egyptian journalist is an intimate look into the lives of Arab women today Here a woman who

  • Title: In the Eye of the Sun
  • Author: Ahdaf Soueif
  • ISBN: 9780679749325
  • Page: 289
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set amidst the turmoil of contemporary Middle Eastern politics, this vivid and highly acclaimed novel by an Egyptian journalist is an intimate look into the lives of Arab women today Here, a woman who grows up among the Egyptian elite, marries a Westernized husband, and, while pursuing graduate study, becomes embroiled in a love affair with an uncouth Englishman.
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      Published :2019-09-25T06:40:59+00:00

    971 Comment

    • Zanna says:

      After 800 pages of easy reading emotional turmoil I was so involved with the characters I wanted to read on and spend more time with Asya and her generation as they grew older - my hunger to know them better and find out what happened to them only increased, especially Deena, Asya's generous, politically conscious, brilliant yet worldly science graduate sister, who I liked most of all. Undoubtedly one of the attractions of the book is the aesthetic and recreational variety of the lifestyle the f [...]

    • Carol says:

      Review and rating to come.

    • Aubrey says:

      "You don't have to live with your choices for ever."This book's an odd duck, in that you'd be hard pressed to find fifty more like it to fill up your Modern Library's Best Books of the 20th century list, which is probably why the latter looks the way it does. For this work, the length, the gender, the author's ethnic nationality actually corresponding to the narrated place: it makes sense when one comes across a far more popular Man Booker contestant in the author's bibliography, but that was co [...]

    • jo says:

      ***finished this book, and this endless, sprawling review!***i'm finding myself liking this a lot, yet also being a bit tired of it. i wish it were shorter. at the same time, i deeply enjoy the language and a part of me will be sad when this ends people have pointed out here, soueif is consciously reprising the style of the massive 19th century novel centered around the plight of an unhappy heroine, and the references to Anna Karenina and Middlemarch abound. i have not read Anna Karenina, and i [...]

    • Bloodorange says:

      This is 3.5 stars, rounded up. This book was completely different from what I expected. Instead of a sweeping family saga it promised to be, it was nearly 800 pages of solipsist whining of a privileged young woman. Yet although I was frequently irritated out of my senses, I was never, ever bored. Reason 1: a crucial part of the story revolves around whether the protagonist, Asya, will or will not write her Ph.D. thesis. Yes, I know what it sounds like, but as anyone who tried to write a Ph.D. th [...]

    • Marcy says:

      I wish Soueif ended the novel where I left off two days ago (around page 500). The first part of the novel, when the protagonist, Asya, is still in Egypt was far more interesting, I'm not enthralled with her story once she moves to England. What takes up much of the novel's energy, is Asya's relationship with her husband, Saif. I like the few parts when we get to read Saif's thoughts the most. But those become increasingly rare as the novel progresses. There are so many of the other characters w [...]

    • Niledaughter says:

      what a heart breaking book !! So where should start from ?!The novel presents life between 1967 to 1980 in the middle east moving to Europe , so in the back ground ; we see the historical events that took place in that period ,Egypt , the wars with Israel , Palestine situation Jordan Lebanon , Saudi Arabia , Syria & Iran , the political transformation From Naser to Sadat , all the detailed changes : economically , socially , culture & even in Urban patterns .While on the front we see th [...]

    • ياسر ثابت says:

      السرد في هذه الرواية ليس أسير إطار الجسد الناعم ونداءاته المحمومة للاكتمال بالآخر، ولا هو مقيدٌ بإطار الغرف المغلقة ونصف المضاءة، وإنما أعلن عن حضوره المتماهي مع الراهن الثقافي والسياسي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي.إخفاق الزوج الشرقي في فك رموز الجسد، ونجاح العشيق الغربي في اكت [...]

    • Yasmin Sabry says:

      I've spent 3 months reading this amazing novel. I must say i've enjoyed every single word. It's a journey through history since Abdel Nasser's days till the final days of Sadat, yet it's not a historical novel, it rather tells how people lived their day to day lives during that time with highlights on a love story that makes a person wonders. Does love truely means that two persons should melt inside one being, or should each one maintain their own independence or just reach a certain point of b [...]

    • ماهر Battuti says:

      رواية صادقة من مؤلفة متمرسة فى أدب الرواية العالمية ، تقص فيها أحداث حياة دارسة أكاديمية تقف بين عالمين ، فى مصر وفى إنجلترا . وهى فى لغة سلسة وسرد على درجة عالية من الحرفية . ولا يخفى على القارئ وجود بعض الملامح الذاتية فى الأحداث

    • Manal says:

      تقريباً 800 صفحة!! نفسى أخلصها قبل ما أموت :D

    • Carmen says:

      In order to read this book I think someone must be interested in both feminine emotions and egyptian culture.It deals with the maturity of a young egyptian girl belonging to the cultural elite of Cairo during the 60's and 70's. The personal plights she faces about desire, sex, love and affection during her growth are stressed by the fact that she lives abroad for a certain period of time. She discovers through a quite nerve-wracking process that she does not identify herself with the path that h [...]

    • vani says:

      I have taken this vast, encyclopedic, sometimes messy, and often gorgeous novel with me on train rides and excursions throughout the city, and maybe that's for the best, maybe I wouldn't have appreciated it in one extended, epic, sit-down dose. I was genuinely sad for it to be over, and that doesn't happen really often for me with novels, as much as I read novels. I tried to figure out what "drives" this book and sustains it past 700 pages. I think, through all nuance and juxtaposition and forma [...]

    • Tarah says:

      I read this to get a better understanding of the role of women in the Arab world, and I got exactly that. This is a particular perspective – a very educated woman raised in a relatively liberal family in Egypt, living for much of the book in England – but I feel from that perspective I learned a lot. Souief has a knack for including just the right amount of details for readers unfamiliar with the culture and traditions of Egypt. This is a very long book, but it was a fast read, because the w [...]

    • Tiffany says:

      This book was recently recommended to me by an Egyptian feminist who said, "Read this book, and you'll understand everything we go through." While I didn't find this book to be as analytical as "A Border Passage" - it is billed as fiction, after all - I thought "In the Eye of the Sun" was deeply reflective and moving. As a woman living in Egypt, educated in the West (as a grad student, no less), and struggling to understand the WHY of things here, I thought it was an excellent read. I don't know [...]

    • Sarah says:

      This was incredibly powerful, so much so that at times it made me dizzy. There were two components to this coming of age story that were fascinating: first, the complex male-female relationships and the brutally accurate ups and downs of a marriage. The second was the middle eastern setting; Soueif placed her characters against a political background, which made the novel rich and fascinating. I came out of it floored by the emotional aspects of the novel and as well as feeling as if I'd gained [...]

    • Sara Salem says:

      I don't know what it is about this book but it hurts to finish it. I love Asya, and Saif, and every little detail in this story.

    • Zainab Magdy says:

      Sensational.d me like no other book. Beautiful in every sense

    • Hadeel Mashhour says:

      it has been two days since I have finished the book and till now everytime I walk around the apartment, I automatically reach for the book to read a bit. I miss it so much.Let's talk about Ahdaf Soueif a little. She is like the most underrated Egyptian author I have come across so far. Such an easiness and grace in her writing that makes eth so reachable, so relatable! The chapters with Asya and Gerald were so frustrating for me as if I were Asya herself fearing for eth and not willing to do any [...]

    • Amélie says:

      J'ai eu une drôle de semaine. (& on est seulement mercredi. Ha!) Il y a des moments qui nous confrontent à des parts secrètes & empoussiérées de nous-mêmes. Il y a des livres qui font la même chose. Je repense beaucoup à celui-ci, entre deux secousses.Le roman de Soueif est sûrement trop long & trop chargé, un peu (beaucoup) à la manière des romans du dix-neuvième qui voulaient tout décrire, tout penser, tout détailler. On y suit une héroïne ambitieuse & vive &am [...]

    • Debbie says:

      This was a great, great book. Great in its hefty, many-paged hugeness as well as the scope of the story it told. The story flips between life in a sometimes-war-torn and always-in-turmoil Egypt against the rainy and grey and extremely 'normal' England. The contrasts between life in the heat, and life in the cold; life in Muslim and Arab worlds with life in Westernised countries; sexual freedom and sexual inhibitions are all excellent.We are plunged into the life of a fallible human being. The le [...]

    • L says:

      I deeply loved this book. At one & the same time it was a beautiful book to read, with wonderful characters, but also a painful book to read, with characters you just want to shake some sense into. I guess that means the Soueif has written engaging, believeable characters about who you very much care. It was painful and annoying as all get out to follow Asya as she virtually conspires with others to make a hash of her life. She is modern and free, while at the same time, a passive victim. Ye [...]

    • Steve Middendorf says:

      Above all this is a love story. An intelligent, headstrong girl comes of age and wants sexual fulfillment and romantic love with the man of her dreams. We see how this plays out in the Middle East.The setting is Egypt from 1967 to 1980. We see the humiliation of the war with Israel, the relationship with the Palestinians, the politics of peace process with Sadat and we see the people withstand the crushing weight of a repressive political regime.More than that we see what it means to be a an edu [...]

    • Catherine says:

      I am finding this book confusing. There are times when I really don't like the format that the author is using. Then I get mad at how stupid the characters seem . . . well, the actions they take. But it still is an interesting view on the history/times in Egypt when Nasser and Sadat were running things, various Egyptian military actions with the Israelis, Suez Canal, young egyptian students thinking they are revolutionaries. Actually, it can be interesting to understand some of the background to [...]

    • Kristin says:

      This was the first book I ever read about the Middle East, written by an Arab author. Were I to reread this now, I would probably tell you about about sexual and class politics and identity in post-colonial Egypt, but I confess I have not read this book in quite some time and writing this I'm rather tempted to pick it up again, just to see what it's like. Yet doing so endangers my memories of it, of realizing that not every book I read about the Middle East must be Serious Works of Nonfiction an [...]

    • Kymberlie says:

      So far this book is amazing! However, my semester started before I could finish, so I'll be in suspense until December. I think it's a fantastic window into the lives of women in the contemporary Middle East, and in particular, the choices they are faced with vis-a-vis marriage, sex, and love. It's really beautifully written, too.So now I'm finished, and I have to say, I liked this book more when I reading it this summer. I still like it very much. However, there were at least 100 pages during w [...]

    • Jennifer says:

      I loved "The Map of Love" and therefore was eager to read another book by Ahdaf Soueif. I was totally absorbed in the beginning of this book. Events in Eygpt and around the Middle East are interwoven with the life story of the main character, Asya, and her family and friends. Later in the book, when Asya is suffering in an unhappy marriage and an unstimulating graduate school program in England, the book starts to move painfully slowly, but when she gets back to Eygpt the book feels alive again. [...]

    • L says:

      This book reminds me of Richardson's Pamela, where I kept on cheering on the narrator in her quest at suicide. Except Asya doesn't really attempt suicide. Oddly, though, I found myself unable to put this book down, which is a feat considering that it is a thick tome that inspires thoughts of what paraphernalia I might be able to hide within its covers given a sharp X-acto knife and some paper-cutting skills. Nonetheless I can't be too mean considering how doggedly I continued to read this thing. [...]

    • Julia says:

      I had read Soueif's book "The Map of Love" a few years ago and loved it. Reading this one second, I found it to be equally absorbing but so different. The first half really swept me away with the coming of age stories, different character perspectives, and introduction of relationships. Add a consistent narrative of the political climate in Egypt (which carries throughout the entire novel) regarding issues with Israel and defining the relationship with Palestine (the novel covers 60's, 70's, end [...]

    • Samantha Deakin says:

      I enjoyed reading this book but I don't really know why. Some of the characters are interesting but often frustrating. I didn't finish the book feeling good about the ending or bad. It is a very long book and the first couple of chapters seem completely out of place from the rest of the story. Even when I got to the end which I had assumed would bring you back round to the point of the first chapter (which was set further in the future than the majority of the book), I still couldn't figure out [...]

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