The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution

The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution

by Peter Hessler

Hardcover

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Overview

From the acclaimed author of River Town, an intimate excavation of life in one of the world's oldest civilizations at a time of convulsive change

Drawn by a fascination with Egypt's rich history and culture, Peter Hessler moved with his wife and twin daughters to Cairo in 2011. After his years of covering China for The New Yorker, friends warned him Egypt would be a much quieter place. But not long before he arrived, the Egyptian Arab Spring began, and now the country was in chaos.

In the midst of the revolution, Hessler often traveled to digs at Amarna and Abydos, where locals live beside the tombs of kings and courtiers, a landscape that they call simply al-Madfuna: "the Buried." He and his wife struck up friendships with their Arabic instructor, a cynical political sophisticate; Peter's translator, a gay man struggling to find happiness in Egypt's homophobic culture; and the neighborhood garbage collector, an illiterate but highly perceptive man named Sayyid, whose access to the trash of Cairo would be its own kind of archaeological excavation. Hessler also met several Chinese small-business owners in the lingerie trade whose view of the country proved a bracing counterpoint to Western conventional wisdom.

Through the lives of these and other ordinary people in a time of tragedy and heartache, and through connections between contemporary Egypt and its ancient, but not distant, past, Hessler creates an astonishing portrait of a country and its people. What emerges is a luminous book of uncompromising intelligence and humanity, a worthy successor to works like Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon and Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525559566
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 88,079
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Peter Hessler is a staff writer at the New Yorker, where he served as Beijing correspondent from 2000-2007 and Cairo correspondent from 2011-2016. He is also a contributing writer for National Geographic. He is the author of River Town, which won the Kiriyama Book Prize, Oracle Bones, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, Country Driving, and Strange Stones. He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting, and he was named a MacArthur fellow in 2011.

Hometown:

Beijing, China

Date of Birth:

June 14, 1968

Place of Birth:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Education:

Princeton University, Creative Writing and English, 1992; Oxford University, English Language and Literature, 1994

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