Egypt is the setting for this collection, but the stories are universal -whether it's the girl whose mother no longer recognises her, a young man who uses the changing political climate to avenge his despotic father, or the woman consumed by guilt for abandoning her children. Echoing V.S. Pritchett's words, they 'look for the silent moment in which our singularity breaks through, when emotions change, without warning, and reveal themselves. And while revealing themselves they also unveil the scents and sensations of modern Cairo, from the early 1930s to the present day. Essential reading, not only for those with a love of this fascinating city but for those who cherish the story, unobtrusively and beautifully rendered.