Paperback(1st Vintage International ed)

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Banned in Saudia Arabia, this is a blistering look at Arab and American hypocrisy following the discovery of oil in a poor oasis community.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394755267
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/1989
Series: International Series
Edition description: 1st Vintage International ed
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 536,820
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.39(d)

About the Author

Abdul Rahman Munif was a Saudi novelist. His novels included strong political elements as well as mockeries of the Middle Eastern elite classes. His work so offended the rulers of Saudi Arabia that many of his books were banned and his Saudi citizenship revoked. His books included Cities of Salt, The Trench, and Variations on Night and Day. Munif died in 2004.

What People are Saying About This

Graham Greene

An Arab novel -- and an excellent one at that. It opens up new vistas to the imagination.

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Cities of Salt 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
dlathrop More than 1 year ago
munif was recommended by a syrian friend as a way to both experience the roots of arab culture and how the oil industrialization of the world changed everything... and how we feel that today in terms of cultural misunderstandings, terrorism, isolationism, etc... i have read this whole series and i really recommend Munif...
suniru on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow. This was a really interesting read. I never imagined that the discovery and pursuant drilling for oil had such a negative impact on the Bedouin. The story is told from the Bedouin perspective. Due to the cultural chaasms the Americans seem not forgein but alien. The writing is excellent but the story lost focus 3/4 of the way through..otherwise I would have given it more stars.
JustMe869 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cities of Salt begins in 1930s in the Wadi Al-Uyoun, where life hasn¿t changed much in the last thousand years. Then the Americans arrive. Soon the inhabitants are all told they must leave and village is bulldozed to accommodate the exploration for oil. The narrative soon focuses on Harran, a seaside village where the Americans decide to build a port and terminus for a pipeline. Cities of Salt is not a polemic, Arabs good, Americans bad, although one Arab does complain that the Americans "smell could kill birds!" The Americans are seen only at a distance, generally across the barbed wire that separates the American compound from Arab Harran. Banned in Saudi Arabia (Isn¿t everything?), Cities of Salt tells of the lives of many ordinary, and not so ordinarily, people disrupted by change they cannot control and cultural conflict they cannot understand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A masterpiece of Arab literature. Hands down one of the best novels about the Persian Gulf region, and by far the best account of two cultures meeting at the intersection of oil and modernity. A long if fascinating account. There's a reason Munif is regarded as a master of his craft.