Monday, September 11, 2006

Obituaries: Naguib Mahfouz

"Naguib Mahfouz wrote about his Cairo not as an abstraction but as one long street of shopkeepers, government employees, pensioners, quiet decent people and the other kind, the small-time thieves and phonies, the smiling men beckoning to customers in front of the stores and the stoic women in the back. The way Naguib Mahfouz described it, his Madiq Alley wasn't that different from Texas Avenue. It took him 12 years to write his signature Cairo Trilogy, each volume named after one of Cairo's streets: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street. It was precisely because they were so local that his books had a universal appeal; he would be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1988."
"A meeting with Mahfouz Hisham Matar recalls a secret soirée in Cairo with the late Nobel laureate".
"Enigmatic and reserved, Mahfouz captured a world now surpassed by change."

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