Chronicle of the Flying Egyptian in Canada


42 pages
ISBN 0-919966-84-5
DDC C892'.736





Translated by Saad El-Gabalawy
Reviewed by Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas is an associate professor of English at the University of


This is the second work in what is evidently a fictional trilogy.
Following publication of the record of his adventures as an immigrant to
Canada, the Flying Egyptian has now passed on (dead or “disappeared in
mysterious circumstances,” as translator El-Gabalawy tells us in the
introduction) and is being sought. An editor from Egypt, from an
unlikely institution called the Contemporary Writer Publishing House,
has been in Canada gathering from immigrant Egyptians in Montreal and
Toronto their impressions and recollections of the missing man. The
editor’s annotations accompany these accounts of the deceased
protagonist, a vagrant “flying to eternity” as the editor calls him.
This many-layered jeu d’esprit has the right mixture of high spirits
and solemnity of tone to accompany the inventive indirectness of a plot
in which characters multiply and give their varying testimony. Was the
Flying Egyptian a lost soul, companion of harlots, who drank himself to
death in Toronto? Or was he the unfortunate victim of an accident while
seeking work in order to settle down and marry his honest and trusting
fiancée, Linda Price, left behind in Prince Edward Island? Or is he
still alive? We will wait for the next instalment.


Elkhadem, Saad., “Chronicle of the Flying Egyptian in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,