Prominent Egyptian author Youssef Rakha will be publishing his first novel in English with Graywolf Press. Titled The Dissenters, the novel delves deep into Egyptian history through the perspective of a female protagonist.
According to Publisher’s Marketplace, Rakha’s new novel “provocatively explores the last 70 years of Egyptian history through the life and death of a woman who is roused from her spiritual and political lethargy late in life by the revolution in Tahrir Square.” The novel’s rights were sold by Rakha’s literary agent Ayesha Pande to Anni Liu and Jessica Williams-Sullivan at Graywolf.
The Dissenters is written in an epistolary form – as a letter from the main character to her estranged, California-based daughter, written by the protagonist’s son who has begun to inhabit her memories. Featuring themes of family, revolution, and political intrigue, Rakha’s The Dissenters is vast in scope and bound to be an enthralling read!
Youssef Rakha is an esteemed Egyptian writer who has written in both Arabic and English. He grew up in Egypt and earned a first class honours BA in English and Philosophy from Hull University. Rakha’s debut novel The Book of the Sultan’s Seal: Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars (2011) won the Banipal Seif Ghobash Prize for Paul Starkey’s English translation in 2015. His 2014 novel The Crocodiles was longlisted for the Arabic Booker Prize in 2017 and won the 2017 Sawiris Cultural Award for Best Novel.
Rakha posted the following tweet in reaction to his recent publication news:
— Youssef Rakha (@Sultans_Seal) October 14, 2022
Congrats to Rakha on his first English novel! Stay tuned for more details about the publication date and preorder link.