The narrator is a young student who gets expelled from the Teachers’ Institute, losing his family support and any hope of becoming a respectable teacher. He lets himself descend into the underworld. Destitute, he seeks refuge in Wikalat ‘Atiya, a historic but now completely run-down caravanserai that has become the home for the town’s marginal and underprivileged characters.
Through a labyrinth of tales reminiscent of the famous Arab storytelling tradition, we are introduced to these denizens, whose lives oscillate between the real and the fantastic, the contemporary and the timeless. And while the narrator starts out as a spectator of these character’s lives, he soon becomes an integral part of the lodging house’s community of rogues.
We follow the narrator into his adventure until he becomes a professional scam artist travelling all over Egypt and tricking people into giving him their money.
Approximate number of pages: 426 p.
Foreign rights: contact publisher