Egyptian Book Reviews

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Book Review by

Mary Kay Radnich


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Told by Leotyne Price
Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

Leontyne Price, perhaps best known for her career as an opera performer, also reveals her talents as storyteller and writer through this beautiful retelling of Guiseppe Verdis opera, AIDA. Having sung the role of the tragic Ethiopian Princess Aida on many occasions, Ms. Prices love for the story as well as the character of Aida is obvious. In her storytellers notes at the end of the slim volume, Ms. Price comments that,

"Aida has given me great inspiration onstage and off. Her deep devotion and love for her country and her people her nobility, strength, and courage are all qualities I aspire to as a human being. I will never forget her."

The story of the opera Aida centers around the political conflict between Ethiopia and its warring neighbor, Egypt, as well as the personal conflict between the princesses of both countries. Princess Aida of Ethiopia, through the carelessness of youth, becomes enslaved by the Egyptians and serves as handmaiden to the Egyptian Princess Amneris. Many of Aidas captors are fascinated by her charm and grace however, as the daughter of a king, Aida has enough wisdom to keep her true identity a secret. As the plot is revealed, Aida and Amneris are both found to be in love with the handsome, strong Egyptian Army captain, Radames. Radames unfortunately, reveals his love for Aida, much to the dismay of the Egyptian princess. Further conflict results within Aida when she realizes that she has unwittingly chosen the death of her Ethiopian loved ones over that of Radames.

The story of Aida closes in the manner of a classic Shakespearean tragedy, with the lovers as victims of conflict between countries.

The illustrations by the Dillons give this work a majesty all its own, with their bold colors and over-sized page format.

This book would be a great gift for anyone who is interested in the opera Aida or in Egypt. The 10" x 11" format makes it suitable for young readers as well as the young-at-heart. And if you or anyone you know will be making the pilgrimage to the Giza Plateau to see a live performance of AIDA this year, this book would be a welcome going away present or remembrance of that special event!


As told by Leotyne Price
Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
Based on the opera by Guiseppe Verdi
Voyager Books edition 1997
Harcourt Brace & Company
San Diego New York London
Cover Price $7.00

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Editor's Commentary By Jimmy Dunn

Ancient Beauty Secrets By Judith Illes

Book Reviews Various Editors

Kid's Corner By Margo Wayman

Cooking with Tour Egypt By Mary K Radnich

Hotel Reviews By Juergen Stryjak

Egyptian Exhibitions By deTraci Regula

Nightlife Various Editors

Restaurant Reviews Various Editors

Shopping Around By Jimmy Dunn

Web Reviews By Siri Bezdicek

Prior Issues

October 1st, 2000

September 1st, 2000

August 1st, 2000

July 1st, 2000

June 1st, 2000