Alif the unseen

by Wilson, G. Willow, 1982-

Format: Print Book 2012
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 8 copies
Available (6)
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Cooper-Siegel Community Library Fiction FIC WIL
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  Fiction
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Green Tree Public Library Adult Fiction F WIL
Location  Green Tree Public Library
Collection  Adult Fiction
Call Number  F WIL
Moon Township Public Library Fiction F WILSON G
Location  Moon Township Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  F WILSON G
Northland Public Library Fiction FIC WILSON
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC WILSON
Penn Hills Library Fantasy FAN WILSON
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Fantasy
Call Number  FAN WILSON
Shaler North Hills Library Fiction WILSON
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  WILSON
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Bethel Park Public Library Fiction CHECKED OUT
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Collection  Fiction
CLP - Squirrel Hill Fiction Collection MISSING
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Fiction Collection
In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients--dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups--from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif--the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the State's electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover's new fiancé is the head of State security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground. When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days , the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen. With shades of Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, and The Thousand and One Nights , Alif the Unseen is a tour de force debut--a sophisticated melting pot of ideas, philosophy, religion, technology and spirituality smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* The scripter of the graphic novel Cairo (2007) and writer of the memoir The Butterfly Mosque (2010) here offers her first prose novel, ushering the energy of the Arab Spring into urban fantasy while unleashing jinns into the digital age. A young hacker-for-hire who goes by the handle Alif becomes an enemy of the state (an unspecified Middle Eastern emirate) after his computer program, designed to suss out the identity of a user solely through keystroke patterns and language tendencies, catches the eye of the iron-clad security presence known as the Hand. Alif has also come into possession of the fabled Alf Yeom, a book that supposedly compiles the entire knowledge of the jinn (which, surprise, are real, and, in the case of the saucy and dangerous Vikram the Vampire, a bit too real). Both Alif and the Hand see in this book the inspiration for a quantum leap in computing sophistication, but will it be a tool for revolution or a means to obliterate dissent? Wilson has a lot on her mind with this ambitious and layered novel, which swirls about ideas of theology, technology, activism, class conflict, and cultural inquiry without getting bogged down in any of them. As timely and thoughtful as it is edgy and exciting, this dervish of a novel wraps modern tendrils around ancient roots, spanning the gulf between ones and zeros, haves and have-nots, and seen and unseen worlds.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Set in an unnamed Arab emirate, Wilson's intriguing, colorful first novel centers on a callow Arab-Indian computer hacker who calls himself "Alif," the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. Alif surreptitiously creates digital protection, at a price, for Islamic dissidents being threatened by the chief of state security (aka "the Hand of God"). When Intisar, Alif's aristocratic beloved, opportunistically throws Alif over for the Hand, he flees into the desert, along with a female neighbor, Dina, pursued by the Hand. Dina carries the 700-year-old jinn-dictated The Thousand and One Days (the inverse of The Thousand and One Nights), which contains secrets disguised in stories that may help Alif remake his world. Wilson (The Butterfly Mosque, a memoir) provocatively juxtaposes ancient Arab lore and equally esoteric computer theory, highlighting the many facets of the East-West conflict while offering few insights, to some readers' regret, into possible resolutions of that conflict. 10-city author tour. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Associates. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Jinn -- Fiction.
Hackers -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Publisher New York : [Emeryville, CA] :Grove Press ;2012
Distributed by Publishers Group West,
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Notes Ill. on lining papers.
Description 433 pages : map ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780802120205
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