"A Dog With No Tail" by Hamdi Abu Golayyel

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The eponymous dog refers to the author, and it's a disparaging epithet a young woman bestows on him when his wishes toward her become clear. Naturally, he does not succeed with her, and he does not succeed with the reader, either.

This isn't a novel; it's a string of loosely related sketches, the specific events of some of which correspond to certain references in others. The author writes in the first person, and actually identifies himself with his own name. Presumably, then, we're dealing with autobiographical sketches. He relates some experiences - with no unifying theme - about commuting from his village into Cairo to work. First you think he's going to find fulfillment in Cairo, but no, it's the village he prefers, because he can play the cosmopolitan man of letters, and that only because he successfully cleaned all the sand and cement dust off himself. It has the ring of honesty - I'll say that. He never flinches from admitting that he likes to boast and show off the pieces he's published in the paper. There's no unified fiction here, no progressing story.

It makes you wonder what they're doing over there at the Naguib Mafouz literary prize panel.
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