If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English
- “In If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English, Noor Naga finds a form for diasporan consciousness: capacious enough to hold conflicting voices, inventive enough to capture the dream state of life in translation, supple enough to express varieties of heartbreak at the margins of culture.”—Sofia Samatar
A dark romance exposing the gaps in American identity politics, especially when exported overseas, If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English is at once ravishing and wry, scathing and tender. Told in alternating perspectives, Noor Naga’s experimental debut examines the ethics of fetishizing the homeland and punishing the beloved . . . and vice versa. In our globalized twenty-first-century world, what are the new faces (and races) of empire? When the revolution fails, how long can someone survive the disappointment? Who suffers and, more crucially, who gets to tell about it?
- “Noor Naga’s language combines precision with extraordinary suggestiveness. Reading this book is like stepping through an open doorway and realizing that a sparkling zodiac of colorful expressions lies another small step away. One has the impulse to keep going and to stop only to wave someone else to hurry along.”—Ato Quayson
“Through exquisite invention and a tightly woven form, Noor Naga brings us into the colliding spaces of cultural duality met by the perennial struggles of people attempting to reconcile with one another and themselves. Enthralling and nuanced, this is a novel by a writer whose powers are just becoming known.”—Matthew Shenoda