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Alif the Unseen
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Winner of the 2013 World Fantasy Award: a compelling and bewitching first novel, perfect for book groups, that mixes old world magic with modern adventure. 'G. Willow Wilson has a deft hand with myth and magic. You should read what she writes.' Neil Gaiman

About the Author

G. Willow Wilson was born in New Jersey in 1982. After graduating with a degree in History and coursework in Arabic language and literature, she moved to Cairo, where she became a contributor to the Egyptian opposition weekly Cairo Magazine until it closed in 2005. She has written for politics and culture blogs across the political spectrum, and has previously written a graphic novel, Cairo, illustrated by M. K. Perker, and a series of comics based on her own experiences, for D.C. Comics.

Reviews

An exhilarating techno-thriller but also far more than that... Wilson has created in this rich, literate novel a profound dialogue between tradition and modernity, belief and non-belief, fairy tale and urban reality. * Guardian *
Brilliant... witty, imaginative and unorthodox in all senses * Observer *
Charming and original * Sunday Telegraph *
Wilson writes beautifully, tells a great story, and even makes computer hackery seem like magic. -- Alison Flood * Sunday Times *
G. Willow Wilson has a deft hand with myth and with magic, and the kind of smart, honest writing mind that knits together and bridges cultures and people. You should read what she writes. * Neil Gaiman *
A Harry Potter-ish action-adventure romance [that] unfolds against the backdrop of the Arab Spring... Improbably charming... A bookload of wizardry and glee. * New York Times *
Wilson works magic... An exuberant fable that has thrills, chills and - even more remarkably - universal appeal * New York Times *
Marvelous... Intoxicating... Hugely entertaining. Wilson has a Dickensian gift for summoning a city and peopling it with memorable characters... True and scary... It doesn't take magical powers to predict it will be one of the year's best-loved books. * Washington Post *
G. Willow Wilson conjures up a tale of literary enchantment, political change, and religious mystery. Open the first page and you will be forced to do its bidding: To read on. * Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked *
Alif the Unseen is a terrific metaphysical thriller, impossible to put down... A multicultural Harry Potter for the digital age. * Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollahs' Democracy and The Ayatollah Begs to Differ *

Known for her award-winning memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, and her comics (Cairo; Air), Wilson instills imaginative storytelling in her debut novel set in the modern Middle East.ÅAlif, a hacker by trade who provides systems security for the rich and poor alike, falls in love with a young woman from a privileged family.ÅShe is engaged to a member of the state police who is leading the hunt for the secret programming code Alif unwittingly created.ÅFollowing the clues in an ancient manuscript titled The Thousand and One Days, Alif allies himself with his Muslim neighbor, an American convert, the sheikh of the local mosque, and an army of shapeshifting jinn to solve the code.ÅVERDICT Wilson skillfully weaves a story linking modern-day technologies and computer languages to the folklore and religion of the Middle East.ÅFor readers ready for adventure and looking for original storytelling, this excellent novel supersedes genres as easily as its characters jump from one reality to another. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/12.]-Catherine Lantz, Morton College Lib., Cicero, Il (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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