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The Buried

The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution

Peter Hessler

Fascinated by Egypt’s rich history, Peter Hessler moved with his family to Cairo just after the Arab Spring had begun.

In the midst of the revolution, he attached himself to an important archaeological dig at a site known as The Buried. In Cairo, he got to know a young gay Egyptian who struggled with pressures from the police and society. Hessler and his wife also struck up a friendship with their Arabic-language instructor, Rifaat, a cynical political sophisticate who helped explain the country’s turmoil. And a different kind of friendship was formed with their illiterate garbage collector, Sayyid, whose access to the refuse of Cairo is another kind of archaeological excavation.

Through the lives of ordinary Egyptians, Hessler creates a richly textured portrait of a revolution and the people swept up in it, drawing connections between contemporary politics and the ancient past. The Buried is a work of uncompromising intelligence and glorious humanity: an extraordinary achievement that unearths a new world for the reader.

Peter Hessler
About the Author

Peter Hessler is a staff writer at the New Yorker (where he served as Cairo correspondent from 2011 to 2016) and is also a contributing writer for National Geographic. He is the author of River Town, Oracle Bones, Country Driving and Strange Stones.

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21 May 2019
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Praise for Peter Hessler
andThe Buried

‘Humorous and deeply empathetic…Hessler is a deeply humane teller of true tales, a keen observer, a graceful stylist.’

‘Hessler’s genius has always been in his wry commentary and ability to transcribe the rhythms of his environment onto the page.’

‘The author looks around and reflects: ‘How could anybody hope to make sense of this world?’ We can only be grateful that we have Peter Hessler to try.’

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