The city wins ? but Egypt loses

REVIEW ?For Alaa. This would?ve been a better book if I?d been able to talk to you.? The dedication of Omar Robert Hamilton?s 2017 novel, The City Always Wins, is to his cousin mdash; the activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah mdash; who was in prison at the time of its writing and publication. Hamilton?s modesty comes across as sincere but, even without Abd El-Fattah?s input, his novel is a tour de force. Washington Post editor Phil Graham described journalism as the ?first rough draft of history?. This phrase springs to mind when I?m reading The City Always Wins (that is, if you delete ?rough?). Although it is a novel, it is imbued with the contemporary history of Egypt since 2011; a fictionalised...
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