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Letters from Cairoby Pauline Kaldas
Synopses & Reviews
When her husband is offered a six-month Fulbright grant to teach American literature at Cairo University, Pauline Kaldas embarks on a new journey - and an opportunity to return home.
Born in Egypt, she immigrated with her parents to the United States when she was eight years old. Returning now with her own children, Kaldas writes from the perspective of an Arab American, straddling two homelands and two identities.
Through a collection of letters, journal entries, essays, and even local recipes, she provides a richly detailed portrait of life in Cairo, recording daily revelations and eventually reconciling past and present. With keen observation and deeply personal reflections, the author presents a thoughtful meditation on the meaning of place, family, and origin.
Kaldas offers insight into the complexities of Egyptian culture. She acts as linguist and cultural interpreter, addressing everything from class issues and political activism to education and the impact of Western culture.
About the Author
Pauline Kaldas is assistant professor of English and creative writing at Hollins University.
Table of Contents
Journeys — My home, by Yasmine — Journal entries — A border crossing : 1969 — February 2002 — Letter 1 — Journal entries — February reflection : a sense of place — Snapshots — E-mails from Yasmine — Wind, by Yasmine — Molekhia — March 2002 — Letter 2 — Journal entries — Family excursions: 1993 — March reflectionv: immigration and return — Snapshots — E-mails from Yasmine — Kosharee — April 2002 — Letter 3 — Journal entries — April reflection : making ends meet — Snapshots — E-mails from Yasmine — Egypt, by Yasmine — Ful (fava beans) — May 2002 — Letter 4 — Journal entries — Shifting spaces : 1990-1993 — May reflection : understanding where we are — Snapshots — E-mails from Yasmine — Grape leaves — June 2002 — Letter 5 — Journal entries — June reflection : authenticity and influence — Snapshots — E-mails from Yasmine — Dusty city, by Yasmine — Baklava — July 2002 — Letter 6 — Journal entry — An evening sweep : 1998 — July reflection : landscapes — Snapshots — E-mails from Yasmine — Kahk — Celine's reflection on Egypt, 2005 — Journal entry.
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