The Blue Manuscript is the ultimate prize for any collector of Islamic treasures. But does it still exist, and if so, can it be found? In search of answers to these questions, an assortment of archaeologists heads for a remote area of Egypt, where they work with local villagers to excavate a promising site. Interspersed with the testimony of the early medieval calligrapher who created the Blue Manuscript, Sabiha Al Khemir's subtle, graceful narrative builds into a rich tapestry of love, hope, despair, greed, fear and betrayal. Intensified at every turn by the uneasy relationship between Islam past and present, and between Islam and the West, The Blue Manuscript is a novel which will resonate long after the astonishing solution to its mystery has finally been revealed.
“A strange and engrossing cross-cultural fable... novels, archaeological excavation has become a metaphor for the uncovering of unpleasant truths.”
“A remarkable novel, skilfully and imaginatively weaving history and human lives across time and continents.”
“Al Khemir seduces readers with the manuscript’s mythical beauty and the philosophy of its art form.”
“It positively teems with colours, sounds, scents and languages…The Blue Manuscript could hardly be more timely and apposite.”