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Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006)

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Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo, Egypt on December 11, 1911. He received a degree in philosophy from the University of Cairo. He took on several civil service and government department jobs to supplement his income while writing, but retired from that career in 1971. During his lifetime, he wrote näytä lisää more than 30 novels including The Games of Fate, The Cairo Trilogy, Children of Gebelawi, The Thief and the Dogs, Autumn Quail, Small Talk on the Nile, and Miramar. He received numerous awards including the Egyptian State Prize, the Presidential Medal from the American University in Cairo, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. He died as a result of a head injury on August 30, 2006 at the age of 94. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

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Merkitty avainsanalla




Group Read, August 2015: Midaq Alley, 1001 Books to read before you die (elokuu 2015)
Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz, Reading Globally (elokuu 2012)
Group Read: The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz, Reading Globally (elokuu 2012)
The Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz, Reading Globally (heinäkuu 2012)
Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz, Reading Globally (heinäkuu 2012)


I very nearly bailed on this, but I'm glad I didn't. It took me a good 75-100 pages before anything enough happened to start grabbing my attention.

The book is set in Egypt just after WWI, and is the story of a family with an ultra conservative patriarch at its head. Inside his home he is a stern authoritarian with his meek, submissive second wife and their children. The balconies of the house are all covered with a lattice framework so no one can see the women inside and they can only peep out at the outside world (although even that is strongly discouraged), and they are rarely if ever allowed outside of the home. The boys of the house, whilst very much afraid of their father's authority, are allowed relative freedom, so long as they do not disgrace the good name of the family. Naturally life does not run smoothly for even the most domineering control freaks, which is where the narrative of the story goes.

Once I finally got into this book I enjoyed it. It reminded me of an Egyptian version of A Suitable Boy. The last quarter of the book focused more on the political situation in Egypt and the strive for independence from British rule. Although I appreciated the insights on this, I preferred when the storyline focused more on the domestic issues within the household rather than the impact on the family of external politics, despite the climax that this built up to.

4 stars - probably 4.5 stars for the middle half of the book, but I'm taking off a half star for the slow start and the political aspect of the last quarter which I didn't enjoy as much (although I expect many will have enjoyed that especially).
… (lisätietoja)
1 ääni
Merkitty asiattomaksi
AlisonY | 60 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 22, 2024 |
Festejos de boda
Naguib Mahfuz
Publicado: 1984 | 146 páginas

Los preparativos para el estreno de una obra de teatro despertarán amargos recuerdos en Tariq, un actor en decadencia, que representará sobre las tablas el último papel importante de su carrera. Así, asistiremos a la relación que mantuvo con la actriz Tahiya, la huida de ésta con Abbás -el director de la función- y la posterior muerte de la misma Tahiya. El éxito del espectáculo y la desaparición de Abbás abocarán a los protagonistas a una serie de reflexiones y sentimientos en los que el deseo y la realidad, los celos y el amor se sucederán unos a otros vertiginosamente.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
libreriarofer | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 24, 2024 |
Read Around the World. Egypt

Naguib Mahfouz was a prolific author, considered one of the fathers of contemporary Egyptian fiction, and the only Egyptian to win the Nobel Prize for literature. He received many death threats from fundamentalist Islamic groups and was the victim of an assassination attempt wherein he was stabbed in the neck outside his home. The 82 year old survived the attempt but was unable to write for more than a few minutes a day due to nerve damage in his right arm.

Palace Walk is the first of the Cairo Trilogy and tells of a Muslim family living there from 1917 to the Egyptian Revolution in 1919. It features Al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, his wife and children. The characters are well drawn and the family dynamics complex, with Al-Sayyid ruling his home with an iron fist, creating fear in his children and subservience in his pious wife. Al-Sayyid Ahmad follows the Hanbali sect, an ultra conservative form of Islam. As he says to his children, “I’m a man. I’m the one who commands and forbids. I will not accept any criticism of my behavior. All I ask of you is to obey me. Don’t force me to discipline you.” He is a tyrannical, despotic hypocrite of a man, keeping his wife and daughters virtual prisoners in their home, unable to leave its doors, yet staying out himself night after night, drinking and carousing with women and entertaining his friends. Despite this he seems to love his children. I read about him with an almost morbid fascination of repulsion and intrigue. His wife Amina is a subservient doormat and although she aroused my sympathy, I wanted to shake her at points in the story. Her stepson Yasin is a lecherous creep, with some repulsive views on women. “A woman. Yes, she’s nothing but a woman. Every woman is a filthy curse. A woman doesn’t know what virtue is, unless she’s denied all opportunities for adultery. Even my stepmother, who’s a fine woman – God only knows what she would be like if it weren’t for my father.” The next son Fahmy is an idealistic teen, who when thwarted in love throws himself into the nationalist cause of trying to free Egypt from the British. Khadija makes up for her lack of beauty with a rapier-like tongue. Aisha is the beautiful one and very conscious of her charms. My favourite character was the youngest son Khamal, the inquisitive mischief maker of the family with his endless questions and curiosity.

I shifted between the kindle and audiobook versions of this story with the amazing Whispersync. I wasn’t entirely enamored with the audio narration by Neil Shah which seemed breathy and over dramatic at times. I found the book engaging, but probably not sufficiently so to induce me to follow the family into the second book of the trilogy. It is no doubt educational reading about the way women are, or have been, treated in various places in the world, but nevertheless feels like heavy going. 3.5 stars for me.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
mimbza | 60 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 22, 2024 |
While a very good story, I found the older, formal style not to my taste. Although, perhaps, appropriate to a novel of ancient Egypt?
Merkitty asiattomaksi
heggiep | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 5, 2024 |



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