The Palm House: A Modern Arabic Novel (Modern Arabic Literature)

Tarek Eltayeb

After coming to Vienna from Sudan to win a better life for himself, Hamza struggles to escape from the margins of society and the stigma of the immigrant. Following several years of hardship, his fortunes begin to change when he meets Sandra, a young Austrian woman, who shows him the Palm House. In this famous Viennese greenhouse, the frost of Hamza’s heart begins to thaw, and he slowly opens himself to Sandra, revealing his bitter yet beautiful past in Sudan and beyond. This masterful novel draws on the 1001 Nights as well as Sudanese folk traditions, and demonstrates the remarkable power of storytelling to overcome even the most dire circumstances. Critically acclaimed across the Arab world, this novel can be read on its own, or as a sequel to Eltayeb’s first novel, Cities without Palms (AUC Press, 2009).

The American University in Cairo Press 352 pages

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