There are shards of magic to be found on every page of this novel." --Omar El Akkad, author of American War
A struggling journalist named Seif is introduced to a former exile with an encyclopedic knowledge of Egypt's obscure, magical places. Together, as explorer and guide, they step into the fragmented, elusive world the Arab Spring left behind. They trek to an affluent neighborhood where giant corpse flowers rain from the sky. They join an anonymous crowd in the dark, hallucinating together before a bare cave wall. They descend a set of stairs to the spot along the Nile River where, it's been said, you can walk on water. But what begins as a fantastical excursion through a splintered nation quickly winds its way inward as Seif begins to piece together the trauma of his own past, including what happened to Alya, his lover with the remarkable ability to sing any sound: crashing waves, fluttering wings, a roaring inferno.
Musical and parabolic, Slipping seeks nothing less than to accept the world in all its mystery. An innovative novel that searches for meaning within the haze of trauma, it generously portrays the overlooked miracles of everyday life, and attempts to reconcile past failures--both personal and societal--with a daunting future. Delicately translated from Arabic by Robin Moger, this is a profound introduction to the imagination of Mohamed Kheir, one of the most exciting writers working in Egypt today.
About the Author
Mohamed Kheir is a novelist, poet, short story writer, journalist, and lyricist. His short story collections Remsh Al Ein (2016) and Afarit Al Radio (2011) both received The Sawiris Cultural Award, and Leil Khargi (2001) was awarded the Egyptian Ministry of Culture Award for poetry. Slipping (Eflat Al Asabea, Kotob Khan Publishing House, 2018; Two Lines Press, 2021) is his fourth novel and his first to be translated into English. He lives in Egypt.
Robin Moger is a translator of Arabic to English currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. His translations of prose and poetry have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, The White Review, Tentacular, Asymptote, Words Without Borders, Seedings, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Washington Square Review and others. He has translated several novels and prose works into English including Iman Mersal's How To Mend (Kayfa ta), Nael Eltoukhy's The Women of Karantina (AUC Press) and Youssef Rakha's The Crocodiles (7Stories Press). His translation of Haytham El Wardany's The Book Of Sleep is forthcoming from Seagull Press in November 2020.
"An extraordinarily sensitive feat of literary engineering and an adventure in narrative prose that establishes Kheir as one of the leading lights of the current literary scene." --Al Modon
"One of the most beautiful and lyrical Arabic novels of recent times." --Yazin Al Haj
"This singular text lies before the reader like the pieces of a puzzle, and invites you to make sense of their disorder. The connections are there but you must look hard to see them and the reward comes in the final pages, where the novel's fragmentation stands revealed as an avatar of an individual's disintegration and the chaos of an entire society." --Shorouk News
"A mosaic of minor tales and the ghostlike forms of characters come from worlds not our own." --Al Dustour