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Egyptian author and journalist Alaa Al Aswany is the biggest-selling novelist in the Arab-speaking world. His earlier book, The Yacoubian Building, topped best-seller lists for several years, was translated into over twenty languages, and became a wildly successful film. In this interview, Cairo-based Al Aswany talks about his latest work, Chicago: A Novel, set in and around the University of Illinois and tracking a group of Egyptians, Americans, and their intertwined relationships. As with all Al Aswany's writing, race, class, sex and politics— infused with a palpable disdain for the regime of Hosni Mubarek (present, but never named)—informs the complicated, compelling situations.