If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English: A Novel by Noor Naga
Winner of the 2022 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Winner of the 2023 Arab American Book Award for Fiction
Shortlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Shortlisted for the 2023 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award
Shortlisted for the 2022 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award
Winner of the Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize, a lush experimental novel about love as a weapon of empire.
A dark romance exposing the gaps in American identity politics, especially when exported overseas, If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English is at once ravishing and wry, scathing and tender. Told in alternating perspectives, Noor Naga's experimental debut examines the ethics of fetishizing the homeland and punishing the beloved . . . and vice versa. In our globalized twenty-first-century world, what are the new faces (and races) of empire? When the revolution fails, how long can someone survive the disappointment? Who suffers and, more crucially, who gets to tell about it?