by Samir Zaki, Cairo: Merit Publishing House, 2012.
Samir Zaki's new novel examines the lives of people living in a street in old Cairo notorious in the first half of the 20th century for its musicians, dancers, liquor makers and prostitutes.
Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country and most people frown on alcohol consumption for religious reasons.
The book has an 'adults only' label but the author stresses that there are no illustrations, explicit scenes or descriptions of prostitution in his novel.
The novel takes place between the 1940s and the death of President Nasser in 1970. Samir expects to release a second volume of the novel this year called Al-Nasek (The Hermit).
An Egyptian, Samir Zaki graduated from the faculty of law and received a cinema diploma from the American University in Cairo. He has directed a short film titled Ghalta wahda Takfi (One Mistake is Enough) and two documentaries.