Translated from the French by Joyce Zonana
An ode to the Egyptian Land, to its inhabitants—humans or spirits—and most of all to its mothers, magicians and nurses.
A captivating tale that moves from street to street . . . from era to era . . . a world where Jews and Arabs lived together…
Set in Cairo’s old Jewish Quarter in the first half of the twentieth century, A Land Like You follows the lives of Jewish Zohar and Muslim Masreya, “milk-twins” bound by an earth-shaking love. Part fantastical fable, part realistic history, the novel draws on ethno-psychiatrist Tobie Nathan’s Jewish Egyptian heritage and deep knowledge of North African folk beliefs to create a bewitching tapestry where spirit possession and religious mysticism exist side by side with sober facts about the British occupation of Egypt and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Free Officers’ Movement.
From the dingy hovels of the city’s poorest residents to the glittering palaces of the wealthy international aristocracy, A Land Like You exists in visual and auditory splendor.
Tobie Nathan is professor emeritus of psychology at Université-Paris VIII and the author of a dozen novels and numerous psychoanalytic studies.
Joyce Zonana, writer and literary translator, is a regular contributor to the blog, Feminism and Religion, and the author of a memoir, Dream Homes: From Cairo to Katrina, an Exile’s Journey.
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