Mortal Designs: A Novel

Mortal Designs: A Novel

Reem Bassiouney
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Author:  Reem Bassiouney
Condition:  New
Format:  Paperback
Pages:  252
Publisher:  The American University in Cairo Press
Year:  2016
ISBN:  9789774167140

At its heart Mortal Designs is a love triangle between Asmaa, a peasant woman of single-minded ambition, determined to ascend through Egypt's rigid class hierarchy; Hazem, a celebrated architect and aesthete, scion of the privileged class; and Captain Morad, a corrupt old army captain whose greatest wish is to be buried in a tomb fit for a pharaoh. As Morad tries to persuade Hazem to accept the commission to build his lavish final resting place, Asmaa resolves that it is on her land-a small but beautiful parcel inherited from her late husband-that this monument will be built. She is certain that the sale of the land, and the attendant connection to these two powerful men, will transform her life, and the lives of her three children. And indeed, it does-but in ways that neither she, nor Hazem, nor the manipulative, string-pulling Morad, can possibly predict.Mortal Designs is a sly allegory of class, politics, and passion and a socially engaged novel of Egypt in the twenty-first century.