This title is part of Robert Yeo’s First Editions, his preloved titles.
Originally published in 1955, D. J. Enright’s first novel is the story of a year in the life of a young Englishman if good intentions, who is teaching English literature in Alexandria during the latter years of King Farouk’s reign. With Seven Types of Ambiguity under the other, he is swiftly initiated into the mysteries of the cosmopolitan and highly excitable Eastern city.
Like the corrupt and failing monarch himself, life tends to run to extremes, and the adventures and misadventures which ensue are often comic, sometimes alarming, and occasionally sad—and for the larger part, one suspects, as near true as makes no difference. One of the Egyptian students writes in an essay: ‘The intellectual class is dishonest people who make much trouble. Sometimes they can be educated and made useful to their country.’ Perhaps in the course of the academic year this young Englishman acquires education of a sort.
Academic Year is a subtile yet vivid evocation of a time and a place, of a country at once cosmopolitan and insular, civilised and barbaric, brilliant and sordid, fabulously wealthy and ruinously poor, and of life within the great city by the sea, Here too is a portrait of the inhabitants—students, teachers, policemen, thieves, diplomates, artists, beggars, lovers—drawn with acute wit, but also with affection.ISBN: 0907675298
Cover Type: Hardcover
Page Count: 256
Year Published: 1984