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Nearing death, Old Testament patriarch Jacob extracts a promise from Naska, a Midianite trader from Damascus, to create a written record of his life among the Hebrews and of his friendship with Jacob's son, Joseph. Naska complies, dictating this prebiblical text to three Sumerian scribes. What unfolds is an extraordinarily revealing novel of life in biblical times, written more than a thousand years before the Bible was put to parchment. Sojourn in Egypt begins five years after Naska and Joseph first meet, an inauspicious meeting by any standard: Naska purchased the boy when his brothers sold him into slavery, banishing from them Jacob's favorite son. Despite the inequality of their stations, the two men develop a mutual respect and become fast friends. In Luxor, where Naska is building a massive farm on Temple lands, he and Joseph face a series of challenges and temptations that will test their faith and their friendship. Naska, lonely over his estrangement from his family, relies on his relationships with Joseph, Rufi, and with Marn, his estranged former lover, to sustain him. Joseph, the slave, concedes his life to God, trusting that he has been sent on a special mission. The Scroll was unearthed in Iraq (ancient Sumer) during Operation Desert Storm. Sent to Oxford University in England for translation, it became an instant sensation when published, but created a firestorm of controversy as new information arose from unlikely places. Narrated by Naska, Sojourn in Egypt breathes new life into a well-worn tale, revealing Joseph as an intriguing and dynamic character. Novelist Martin Shapiro has woven a captivating story of romance, love, jealousy, greed, anger, revenge, and murder. Readers will be drawn deep into the lives of Shapiro's characters, first in Sojourn in Egypt, later in sequels Caravan to Luxor and Joseph Reigns. Naska's tale is a true epic, an ancient story in which contemporary readers will face the timeless truth of the human heart and experience.


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