Cheops: A Cupboard for the Sunby Paul West
Known for wrapping readers in his historical web, Paul West, in his marvelous, new novel, turns his attention to the 4th Dynasty (approx. 2680 BC) of ancient Egypt. Here, we find the pharaoh Cheops, building the great pyramids at Giza, surrounded by workers
Paul West creates a glorious, powerful Sun King of Egypt, bent on a death worthy of his great pyramid at Giza.
Known for wrapping readers in his historical web, Paul West, in his marvelous, new novel, turns his attention to the 4th Dynasty (approx. 2680 BC) of ancient Egypt. Here, we find the pharaoh Cheops, building the great pyramids at Giza, surrounded by workers and solar boats. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, "a hundred thousand men were made to toil constantly for him," and, as Herodotus claimed, Egypt was "plunged into all manner of wickedness." In Cheops, West delightfully has Herodotus transported back in time, to meet the great pharaoh, face to face. Nearing death, getting ready for his final "transportation to the stars," the blind Cheops is obsessed with preparing for his end. All the while, the intrigues of his daughters, sons, wives, and courtiers are revealed, uncovering murder, incest, and rebellion. Most intriguing is the overarching narration told by Osiris, god of the Nile, who comments on this swarm of events with hilarious and humane authority. Profound and entertaining, Cheops: A Cupboard for the Sun is perhaps Paul West's greatest novel yet.
Author Biography: Paul West is the author of some twenty novels and a dozen works of nonfiction, most recently A Fifth of November and The Dry Danube, both published by New Directions. His awards include the Lannan Prize for Fiction, the Literature Prize of the American Academy, and the designation Chevalier of Arts and Letters from the Government of France. He studied at Oxford and Columbia, and in 2000 received the first Art-of-Fact Prize offered by the State of New York.
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