Midnight in Cairo: The Female Stars of Egypt's Roaring '20s (Paperback)
  • Midnight in Cairo: The Female Stars of Egypt's Roaring '20s (Paperback)
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Midnight in Cairo: The Female Stars of Egypt's Roaring '20s (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 352 Pages
Published: 18/10/2022
  • 5+ in stock

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1920s Cairo: singers were pressing hit records, dramatic troupes were springing up and cabarets were packed - a counterculture was on the rise. In bars, hash-dens and music halls, people of all backgrounds came together as a passionate group of artists captivated Egyptian society. Of these performers, Cairo's biggest stars were female, and they asserted themselves on the stage like never before. Two of the most famous troupes were run by women; Badia Masabni's dancehall became the hottest nightspot in town; pioneer of Egyptian cinema Aziza Amir made her stage debut; and legendary singer Oum Kalthoum first rose to fame. It is these women, who knew both the opportunities and prejudices that this world offered, who best reveal this cosmopolitan and raucous city's secrets. Midnight in Cairo tells the thrilling story of Egypt's interwar nightlife and entertainment industry through the lives of its pioneering women. Introducing an eccentric cast of characters, it brings to life a world of revolutionary ideas and provocative art - one which laid the foundations of Arab popular culture today. It is a story of modern Cairo as we have never heard it before.

Publisher: Saqi Books
ISBN: 9780863569364
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A spectacular parade of the extraordinary, bold and brash Egyptian women who shot to fame in the early years of globalised celebrity culture.' The Times; 'A revelation ... in this tremendous act of historical discovery, Cormack has unearthed the regal figures and buried treasures of Cairo's golden age. He is the Howard Carter of the demi-monde.' The Telegraph; 'Midnight in Cairo delivers a place, time and people you'll wish you'd personally known. ... Cormack deftly outlines the shifts in political mood and popular tastes that Cairo's entertainment scene both responded to and inspired.' TLS ;'A captivating journey through [Cairo's] bars, cafes, cabaret clubs and music halls during a magical era when some of its biggest stars were women.' The Herald; 'Fascinating ... Midnight in Cairo is a fizzing tale of an underexplored period ... [These female performers] changed the terms of Egyptian popular culture and blazed a path for women.'David Gardner, Financial Times; 'An utterly unique book, teeming with vividly recounted stories, at times hilarious and at times tragic. These were true feminists avant la lettre who defied the societal norms and authorities of their time, both in Egypt and abroad. This inspiring gem of a book gripped me from beginning to end.' Hanan al-Shaykh, author of Women of Sand and Myrrh; 'Important, insightful and fascinating ... Cormack highlights an important period in Egypt's modern history - almost unknown in the West - when its cosmopolitan culture was characterized by a tolerance of all races and religions ... This is a must-read.' Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building; 'A book full of surprises. A lively story of women shaping gender, class, money and national liberation issues from the music halls and cabarets of early twentieth-century Cairo.' Ahdaf Soueif, author of Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed; 'An unexpected story of powerful women and their no less powerful voices ... Beguiling and original.' Marina Warner, author of Forms of Enchantment; 'Packed with pizzazz and fizzing with naughtiness ... a thrilling reminder of the richness and wonder of Egyptian culture in the roaring twenties.' Justin Marozzi, author of Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood;

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