Return of the Spirit: A Novel

Both revolution and romance are at the heart of Return of the Spirit (first published in Arabic in 1933). The story of a young, patriotic artist and his extended family in 1918-1919 Egypt, ending with events surrounding the 1919 revolution (for al-Hakim, a literal awakening of the Egyptian spirit), the novel's strong expression of Egyptian nationalist solidarity has particular resonance now. Admiration for Return of the Spirit by the military entrepreneurs who replaced Egypt's monarchy in 1952 temporarily dampened enthusiasm for the work; but the Tahrir revolution has made it seem once again as fresh as today's news. This new edition of Return of the Spirit includes William Maynard Hutchins's new introduction, along with his revised translation.