Van has finished reading…The Map Of Love by Adhaf Soueif

23 Oct

I wonder if it’s feasible to concoct an extensive history of the world at a certain point in time by taking in fiction written not by the victors, but by the descendants of the survivors? It’s only relatively recently that we have come to view the word Empire as a stain on our history, and there are still plenty of people around who would disagree with that point of view.

  One of the things I really like about this book is that it has finely placed viewpoints, pitched to reveal the many sides of the politics of the time – we invariably look at the past as ‘bad times’ or ‘good’. This book reminds us that the past is built on the lives of people, and people are rarely one thing or the other.

  Another thing I like about this book is that it brings to mind a phrase I dislike for its overuse. It is, I think, beautifully written. With three main points of view across a large expanse of time, I was never in any doubt as to whose eyes I was viewing the world through. And I can well believe the panel of Booker judges proclaimed it the best read of the list that year. It’s compelling and sensitive, and yet righteously angry in places too, without the heavy hand that might have seemed a pointing finger.

Read it; you’ll not be disappointed.


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