Synopses & Reviews
When Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, finds himself stranded in Alexandria in the winter of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been canceled, he sets out to explore a nation on the brink of revolution. Guided by two native Egyptians, Stothard traces his own life-long interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write the book about her that he had always wanted to. In Alexandria, part memoir and part travel literature, Stothard uses the sights and sounds of the ancient city to reconnect with the formative experiences of his childhood education and his literary career. Melancholy and often humorous, Alexandria offers a first-hand glimpse into the fracturing police state of Honsi Mubarak, before the uprising in Tahrir Square changed everything.
“A thoroughly enjoyable combination of history, autobiography, travel and general musings about Alexandria . . . Dont try to categorize this book; just read it and let it flow over you.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Blending aspects of memoir, history, and travel narrative into an elegant and unique tapestry, Stothard uses the sights and sounds of the ancient city to reconnect with the experiences that shaped his life. Melancholy yet often humorous, probingly deconstructs the enigma of modern Egypt--with its uneasy mix of classical touchstones and increasingly volatile Middle Eastern politics--and offers a first-hand glimpse into the fracturing state just before the Tahrir Square uprising and the start of the Arab Spring.
When Peter Stothard found himself stranded in the Egyptian
About the Author
Peter Stothard is Editor of the Times Literary Supplement and author of Spartacus Road. From 1992 to 2002 he was the Editor of The Times. In 2012 he was chairman of the judges for the Man Booker Prize.