The House of the Coptic Woman

The House of the Coptic Woman

Publishing House: Hoopoe

Publication Year: 2023

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 224

“The House of the Coptic Woman,” a novel by Ashraf El-Ashmawi, stands as a profound exploration of religious conflicts and human strife in Egypt. This African book, recognized in 2023 by Brittle Paper, intricately weaves a story that plunges into societal discord.

Set in a rural village in Upper Egypt, the narrative centers on Nader, an idealistic public prosecutor from Cairo. His life shifts unexpectedly upon meeting Hoda, a mysterious woman escaping an abusive past. She seeks a fresh start in this small community, away from her troubled history.

Nader’s first night in the village foreshadows the turmoil ahead. The village, already a tinderbox of Coptic-Muslim tensions, spirals into chaos with unexplained killings and arson. Villagers blame supernatural forces, entangling Nader in a conflict that defies his professional expertise and personal beliefs.

“The House of the Coptic Woman” explores Nader and Hoda’s journeys amidst ignorance, poverty, and entrenched hatred. They confront obstacles from uncooperative locals and a hindering police force, their quests for justice and happiness fraught with challenges.

This narrative echoes Tawfiq al-Hakim’s “Diary of a Country Prosecutor,” offering an intimate look at conflict, crime, and upheaval in rural Egypt. Acclaimed for its intelligent narrative, provocative storytelling, and bold treatment of religious strife and justice, “The House of the Coptic Woman” provides an unflinching reflection on coexistence and the pursuit of human dignity in a divided society.

Read More About Ashraf El-Ashmawi

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