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That Smell & Notes from Prison

by Sonallah Ibrahim

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Breathtakingly subversive

—Yasmine El Rashidi, New York Review of Books

That Smell — a watershed in contemporary Egyptian fiction — combined with the author’s Notes from Prison in a single edition

That Smell & Notes from Prison

Fiction by Sonallah Ibrahim

translated from the Arabic by Robyn Creswell
Edited by Robyn Creswell

One of the most influential Arabic novels of recent times, That Smell is Sonallah Ibrahim’s modernist masterpiece. Composed in the wake of a five-year prison sentence, the semi-autobiographical story follows a recently released political prisoner as he wanders through Cairo, adrift in his native city. Published in 1966, the novel was immediately banned. For this edition, the translator Robyn Creswell has also included an annotated selection of Notes from Prison culled from Ibrahim’s prison diary — a personal archive comprising hundreds of handwritten notes scribbled on Bafra-brand cigarette papers. These writings shed unexpected light on Ibrahim’s groundbreaking novel.

published March 22nd, 2013
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