It's the dawn of the 20th Century, and Britain's glittering Empire extends far and wide, full of the dangerously seductive promise of untapped riches. At first glance, modest, stammering Howard Carter has nothing whatsoever in common with Aisha, the young Egyptian whose profile bears more than a passing resemblance to Nefertiti's beautiful face depicted on the Pharaonic relics Howard loves so much. Howard's artistic talent takes him on an expedition to try and locate Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt. There, amidst growing unrest between the tyrannical British rulers and the so-called 'barbarians', he meets Aisha - a bewildering mix of contradictions. A village girl, yet she speaks four languages; Muslim, yet with a tattoo of the cross on her arm; a stranger, yet with an achingly familiar face. As well as being a page-turning gallop through some of the most momentous occasions in recent world history, A Cloudy Day on the Western Shore explores questions of national identity and the implications of European intervention - for better or worse - in the discovery and exploration of some of the most beautiful treasures on earth today.
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Award-winning Egyptian novelist Mohamed Mansi Qandil was born in the Nile delta. He went to medical school, and worked as a local countryside doctor before turning his hand to literature. His first novel, Breaking of the Spirit, was inspired by events surrounding workers' unrest in the city. His second novel, Moon over Samarqand, was inspired by a conversation with a taxi driver in Uzbekistan. He has published several novels, short story collections and children's books, and now lives in Canada. @MansiKandil Barbara Romaine has translated a number of novels by Radwa Ashour, as well as some selections from classical Arabic poetry. In 2011 her translation of Spectres was runner-up for the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize.
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