The Point of Light

The Point of Light
Pub date 1st January 2001
Original publisher Al Hilal Novels (Egypt)

(Nuqtat Al-Nour)

The novel's subject matter may seem familiar Taher's work in its depiction of the fortunes of two Egyptian families during the 1970s. Dedicated to the renowned novelist and master of modern Arabic prose Yehyia Haqqi, Nuqtat Al-Nour deals with the mystical search professed by the old, quiet characters who populate Naguib Mahfouz's late novels, in which the predicament of death is confronted head on, professing a heightened knowledge of mortality and the quest for the meaning of life.

Divided into three parts, Nuqtat Al-Nour tells its story from the viewpoint of three closely related characters depicted mainly in the third-person: Salem, a lower middle class university student who lives with and is much influenced by his grandfather, a retired scribe, Lubna, an upper middle class colleague of Salem's and the patriarch of an extended family resident in a house built in the early 20th century.

The father's fight to rebuild the house following a derelict notification from the authorities, in the face of his son's ambition to pull down the edifice and replace it with a lucrative high-rise apartment block, provides the backdrop to Salem and Lubna's painful love, complicated by each of them being psychologically disturbed.


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