Michael David Lukas
Novelist Michael David Lukas, here a few years ago for his prize-winning debut novel, The Oracle of Stamboul, makes this welcome return from his Bay Area home to read from his newly published second work, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo (Spiegel & Grau).
“Michael David Lukas has given us an elegiac novel of Cairo—Old Cairo and modern Cairo—with a bit of Berkeley thrown in. His prose is deeply evocative, and a sense of mystery and profound tristesse pervade this unusual narrative, which tells the story of a young California man on a quest to understand a puzzling gift left for him by his late father, the descendant of generations of watchmen at the venerable Ben Ezra synagogue in the depths of Old Cairo. The novel is enhanced by Lukas’ impressive historical research on the Geniza and the colorful characters involved in rescuing its treasure trove of documents. But his greatest flair is in capturing the essence of that beautiful, haunted, shabby, beleaguered, yet still utterly sublime Middle Eastern city.” —Lucette Lagnado.
“A beautiful, richly textured novel, ambitious and delicately crafted, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is both a coming-of-age story and a family history, a wide-ranging book about fathers and sons, religion, magic, love, and the essence of storytelling. This book is a joy.” —Rabih Alameddine.