The novel Utopia by the well-known writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s came second on Merit’s best-seller list. The novel, which has been classified as social critique, is set around 2023 – when Egypt as the author imagines it is divided into two classes: extremely rich and extremely poor. The rich class, representing the Utopia of the title, lives in a North Coast compound fenced by high walls and guarded by US Marines, while the poor class crowds the slums fighting for food. The climax takes place when a rich young man from Utopia decides he is bored enough with his luxury to hunt down his counterpart from the slums, play with him, kill him and keep his body as a trophy.
The author depends on realistic statistics of poverty in Egypt and draws on research on addiction and violence to paing that picture. Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, 49, is a doctor and writer best known for his monthly series Ma Wara’ Al-Tabi’a (The Supernatural); Utopia is his first full-length novel.