'Tenacious, revelatory, and humane.' - Paul Theroux
'The Buried is the kind of book that you don't want to end and won't forget. With the eye of a great storyteller Peter Hessler weaves together history, reporting, memoir, and above all the lives of ordinary people in a beautiful and haunting portrait of Egypt and its Revolution.' - Ben Rhodes
In 2011, while revolution swept across Egypt, Peter Hessler was reporting on the everyday lives and ancient secrets of a country in turmoil.
The result is this unforgettable work of literary and documentary brilliance. In The Buried, Hessler traces the human stories alongside the broader sweep of historic events: Tahrir Square, the massacres and the coup form the background, but so too do ancient cults, buried cities in the desert and dead pharaohs with huge ambitions. Most important are the people forging their lives in this world. We follow rubbish collector Sayyid; Arabic teacher Rifaat; and Manu, a translator. There are also the Chinese immigrants who have built a lingerie empire, politicians and ingenious archaeologists. Together, they raise the question: is revolution just repetition, or can things ever really change?
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 396 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 28 mm
Drawing both from daily life and from interviews with highly placed political figures, the book is an extraordinary work of reportage ... Sensitive and perceptive * Wall Street Journal * It is both beautiful and heartbreaking ... Hessler has a genius for structuring a narrative. ... Every page is vivid and engaging, and each chapter packs in surprises. * Literary Review * Peter Hessler is one of the finest storytellers of his generation. -- Larissa MacFarquhar At once engrossing and illuminating ... this stakes a strong claim to being the definitive book to emerge from the Egyptian revolution. * Publishers Weekly * This is writing at its best and highly recommended for anyone interested in Egypt, modern or ancient. * Library Journal * Hessler introduces unexpected prisms of enquiry and the intimate perspective of an endlessly curious observer ... The book achieves a great deal. It provides outstanding reportage of the Arab Spring but, better yet, are Hessler's accounts of the people he encountered. ... this spirited, deeply insightful book. * Geographical * Original, richly layered, and often delightful reporting. Hessler has a sharp sense of humor, a gift for observation, a healthy skepticism, and a knack for using memorable characters and anecdotes to demonstrate larger truths . . . This is what reporting can be at its best: clear-eyed and empathetic, an addition to the historical record. * New York Review of Books * Hessler 'spin[s] golden prose from everyday lived experience ... The result is a small triumph, one of the best books yet written about the Arab spring. -- William Dalrymple * Guardian * Nuanced and deeply intelligent-a view of Egyptian politics that sometimes seems to look at everything but and that opens onto an endlessly complex place and people. * Kirkus Starred Review * Destined to become the title that all first-time visitors to Egypt are urged to pack. . . . Hessler is an extraordinary writer. * Foreign Affairs * The Buried is wonderfully impressive, not a conventional travel book at all, but the chronicle of a family's residence in Egypt, in a time of revolution - years of turmoil in this maddening place. And yet Peter Hessler remains unflustered as he learns the language, makes friends, puts up with annoyances (rats, water shortages, mendacity) and delves into the politics of the present and the ancient complexities. It is in all senses archeology - tenacious, revelatory, and humane. -- Paul Theroux The Buried is the kind of book that you don't want to end and won't forget. With the eye of a great storyteller Peter Hessler weaves together history, reporting, memoir, and above all the lives of ordinary people in a beautiful and haunting portrait of Egypt and its Revolution. -- Ben Rhodes, author of The World As It is: A Memoir if the Obama White House In The Buried, Peter Hessler brings to life the secret history of the Arab Spring, masterfully weaving together a memoir of his time in Cairo with the hidden, intimate lives of ordinary Egyptians. With lyrical prose, Hessler introduces us to a side of the Middle East we never see in news accounts: an enterprising garbage collector, a gay man skirting police repression, an Arabic language instructor nostalgic for the country's socialist past. These stories unfold on the backdrop of Egypt's 5,000-year-old history, as we learn about the parallels Egyptians draw to their pharaonic past. Witty and deeply humane, The Unburied is unlike any other book I've read about the Egyptian revolution, and stands as a remarkable testament to the country's extraordinary history and to the struggle for human freedom. -- Anand Gopal, author of NO GOOD MEN AMONG THE LIVING: America, the Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes The Buried ... is Mr. Hessler's closely observed, touching and at times amusing chronicle of this tumultuous time. Drawing both from daily life and from interviews with highly placed political figures, the book is an extraordinary work of reportage ... Sensitive and perceptive, Mr. Hessler is a superb literary archaeologist, one who handles what he sees with a bit of wonder that he gets to watch the history of this grand city unfold, one day at a time. * Wall Street Journal * It is both beautiful and heartbreaking ... Hessler has a genius for structuring a narrative. Here he has crafted a
miraculously coherent arc out of several disparate themes ... Every page is vivid and engaging, and each chapter packs in surprises. * Literary Review * Peter Hessler is one of the finest storytellers of his generation. The beauty of his writing is subtle and cumulative-it gets under your skin. After his years in China, Hessler moved with his family to Cairo during the electric, chaotic days of protests in Tahrir Square. Through him, you come to know many Egyptians as he came to know them-casually, intimately, forming deepening ties. And through them you experience Egypt's turbulent recent history as it was happening, as it felt to live through it. -- Larissa MacFarquhar, author of STRANGERS DROWNING Praise for The Oracle Bones
'One of the most profoundly original books about China * The Economist * A swirl of interconnecting stories and histories make up Peter Hessler's extraordinary, genre-defying second book * Daily Telegraph * [An] extraordinary survey of contemporary China...really quite unforgettable * The Observer * Praise for River Town
'Written with great clarity and affection, River Town should be read by anyone with any interest in finding the Chinese less inscrutable * The Times * If you read only one book about China, let it be this * Jonathan Mirsky *