Upcoming Event
  • The Buried

    by Peter Hessler
    Price $28.00
    Hardcover
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    The Buried

Peter Hessler

presents

The Buried:
An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution

This event includes a book signing

Date

May
7
Tuesday
May 7, 2019
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes New Yorker staff writer PETER HESSLER—acclaimed author of River Town and Oracle Bones—for a discussion of his latest book, The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution.

About The Buried

Drawn by a fascination with Egypt's rich history and culture, Peter Hessler moved with his wife and twin daughters to Cairo in 2011. He wanted to learn Arabic, explore Cairo's neighborhoods, and visit the legendary archaeological digs of Upper Egypt. After his years of covering China for the New Yorker, friends warned him Egypt would be a much quieter place. But not long before he arrived, the Egyptian Arab Spring had begun, and now the country was in chaos.

In the midst of the revolution, Hessler often traveled to digs at Amarna and Abydos, where locals live beside the tombs of kings and courtiers, a landscape that they call simply al-Madfuna: "the Buried." He and his wife set out to master Arabic, striking up a friendship with their instructor, a cynical political sophisticate. They also befriended Peter's translator, a gay man struggling to find happiness in Egypt's homophobic culture. A different kind of friendship was formed with the neighborhood garbage collector, an illiterate but highly perceptive man named Sayyid, whose access to the trash of Cairo would be its own kind of archaeological excavation. Hessler also met a family of Chinese small-business owners in the lingerie trade; their view of the country proved a bracing counterpoint to the West's conventional wisdom. 

Through the lives of these and other ordinary people in a time of tragedy and heartache, and through connections between contemporary Egypt and its ancient past, Hessler creates an astonishing portrait of a country and its people. What emerges is a book of uncompromising intelligence and humanity—the story of a land in which a weak state has collapsed but its underlying society remains in many ways painfully the same. A worthy successor to works like Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon and Bruce Chatwin's The SonglinesThe Buried bids fair to be recognized as one of the great books of our time.

Praise

“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. . . . Witty and deeply humane, The Buried 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 Though Afghan Eyes

“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. . . . 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: Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Urge to Help

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

Peter Hessler
Peter Hessler

Peter Hessler

Peter Hessler is a staff writer at the New Yorker, where he served as Beijing correspondent from 2000-2007 and Cairo correspondent from 2011-2016. He is also a contributing writer for National Geographic. He is the author of River Town, which won the Kiriyama Book Prize, Oracle Bones, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, Country Driving, and Strange Stones. He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting, and he was named a MacArthur fellow in 2011.

Photo Credit: Darryl Kennedy

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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