Dentist Pens International Bestseller
The Yacoubian Building, about the residents of a building in Egypt, quickly became a bestseller because of the issues it dealt with in a soap-like form. In fact, many are surprised the book was not banned there. "A tale of life in a downtown Cairo apartment building that delves into a mix of power, corruption, sex, exploitation, poverty and extremism managed to become one of the best-selling Arabic-language works of fiction in recent decades, receiving accolades for lucidly capturing the varied aspects of Egyptian life: straight, gay, rich, poor, powerful, powerless, reports Egypt today.
"I see literature as an expanse of freedom. Literature should examine the areas that people don't talk about, to show us things we could be feeling but not seeing," says the author, ALAA El Aswany.
A dentist for over 20 years, Aswany writes for three hours a day and has published several collections of short stories. The Yacoubian Building is his first novel and bestseller, and his first book published in the U.S.