“Rakha’s brilliant novel”
Barbara Hoffert, for Library journal , December 9th, 2014
In poet/journalist Rakha’s brilliant novel, set in Cairo between 1997 and 2011, the suicide of an iconic female activist, the founding of the Crocodiles Movement for Secret Egyptian Poetry by a bunch of young idealists, and the birthday of Nayf, who’s struggling to translate Allen Ginsberg’s “The Lion for Real,” all converge on a single June day. Whether Ginsberg’s lion is God or love, revolution or fate, the young people here aren’t quite ready, though they’re full of talk. The numbered paragraphs read like prose poems and flow like the best fiction.
Rakha, Youssef. The Crocodiles. Seven Stories. 2014. 256p. tr. from Arabic by Robin Moger. ISBN 9781609805715. pap. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9781609805722. F