448 pages, 8.18 × 5.58 × 1.17 in
July 10, 2012
McClelland & Stewart
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0771089082
ISBN - 13: 9780771089084
From the Publisher
A tour-de-force of a debut that blends classic fantasy -- the fascinating, frightening, sometimes-invisible world of the djinn -- that's genies to some of us -- with the 21st-century reality of a super-hacker in mortal danger in a repressive security state on the Arabian Gulf.
Alif (that's his handle) is a brilliant young superhacker working out of his mother's small apartment, and his computer has just been breached. While Alif scrambles to protect his clients -- dissidents and outlaws alike, whoever needs to hide their digital traces, he and his friends realize that they've been found by 'the Hand' -- maybe a person, maybe a program, but definitely able to find anyone, and that could lead to prison, or worse. Alif, with the help of his childhood friend Dina, an ancient book sent to him in secret by his lost love (who may be frighteningly connected to the Hand) and a terrifying protector who almost looks human, must go underground -- or rather, find a way into the hidden world of the djinn. They wrote the mysterious book centuries ago, and have knowledge that might just allow Alif to infiltrate the most sophisticated information technology the world has ever seen, and perhaps save himself, his loved ones, and freedom itself. With shades of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, William Gibson, and the timeless Thousand and One Nights, Alif the Unseen is a tour-de-force debut with major potential -- a masterful, addictive blend of the ancient and the more-than-modern, smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner.
About the Author
G. WILLOW WILSON was born in New Jersey in 1982 and raised in Colorado. She is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir The Butterfly Mosque and the comics Air and Vixen. She divides her time between Cairo and Seattle.
Finalist for the Hammett Prize 2012“Fast-paced, imaginative. . . . Wilson seems to delight in establishing, then confounding, any expectations readers may have. . . . [Her] tone alternates between serious and playful [but] for all its playfulness, “Alif the Unseen” is also at times unexpectedly moving, especially as it detours into questions of faith. . . . For those who view American fiction as provincial, or dominated by competent but safe work, Wilson’s novel offers a resounding, heterodox alternative.” —The New York Times Book Review “Timely literary alchemy, a smart, spirited swirl of current events, and history; religion and mysticism; reality and myth; computer science and metaphysics. . . . Populated by memorable characters, both human and jinn. . . . “Alif the Unseen” richly rewards believers in the power of the written word.” —Seattle Times “A sprightly political fairy tale.” —The Wall Street Journal “There is no question that Alif the Unseen is one of those rare events in the history of publishing, when an ancient pattern of storytelling (The Arabian Nights) is grafted on to an up-to-the-minute world crisis. This synthesis has great spiritual authority, thanks to the vision of G. Willow Wilson.” —Bookpage“Intriguing, colorful. . . . Wilson provocatively juxtaposes ancient Arab lore and equally esoteric computer theory . . . “ —PW “[G. Willow Wilson] works magic… As an American convert to Islam, she has an unusual ability to see the best of both worlds. In ‘Alif th