CAIRO IN the late 19th century .
(photo credit: ANTONIO BEATO/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)
Writers sometimes reveal their unconscious longings whether they intend to or not. In Michael David Lukas’s brilliant historical novel, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, we sense he is looking to find some spark of God’s presence, but is unsure where to look – or even precisely what he is looking for. The 38-year-old Lukas – whose mother’s relatives were murdered in Auschwitz, and whose father barely survived the Second World War in Budapest living under false papers – is clearly enamored with the mysteries that enshroud the Middle East and its turbulent history, finding particular resonance in the stories of the past.
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