Download The Queue Audiobook

The Queue Audiobook, by Basma Abdel Aziz Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Basma Abdel Aziz Narrator: Narrator Info Added Soon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9781524752088
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"The Queue ... has drawn comparisons to Western classics like George Orwell’s 1984 and The Trial by Franz Kafka. It represents a new wave of dystopian and surrealist fiction from Middle Eastern writers who are grappling with the chaotic aftermath and stinging disappointments of the Arab Spring." -- The New York Times

Winner of the English PEN Translation Award

In a surreal, but familiar, vision of modern day Egypt, a centralized authority known as ‘the Gate’ has risen to power in the aftermath of the ‘Disgraceful Events,’ a failed popular uprising. Citizens are required to obtain permission from the Gate in order to take care of even the most basic of their daily affairs, yet the Gate never opens, and the queue in front of it grows longer.

Citizens from all walks of life mix and wait in the sun: a revolutionary journalist, a sheikh, a poor woman concerned for her daughter’s health, and even the brother of a security officer killed in clashes with protestors. Among them is Yehia, a man who was shot during the Events and is waiting for permission from the Gate to remove a bullet that remains lodged in his pelvis. Yehia’s health steadily declines, yet at every turn, officials refuse to assist him, actively denying the very existence of the bullet.

Ultimately it is Tarek, the principled doctor tending to Yehia’s case, who must decide whether to follow protocol as he has always done, or to disobey the law and risk his career to operate on Yehia and save his life.

Written with dark, subtle humor, The Queue describes the sinister nature of authoritarianism, and illuminates the way that absolute authority manipulates information, mobilizes others in service to it, and fails to uphold the rights of even those faithful to it. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A surreal version of modern-day Egypt.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Although this is a novel, if you follow events in today’s Egypt, it’s not far from the truth.”

    New York Post

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Basma Abdel Aziz is an Egyptian writer, psychiatrist, and visual artist. Early on, she earned the nickname “the rebel” for her indefatigable struggle against injustice, torture, and corruption. A weekly columnist for Egypt’s Al Shorouk newspaper, she represents a fresh and necessary female voice in Arabic journalism and fiction. She is the winner of the Sawiris Cultural Award, the General Organisation for Cultural Palaces Award, and the Ahmed Bahaa-Eddin Award. She lives in Cairo.