Naguib Mahfouz at Sidi Gaber: Reflections of a Nobel Laureate, 1994-2001by Naguib Mahfouz
In one of his regular columns in Al-Ahram Weekly, Naguib Mahfouz at the age of 89 wrote of his feeling of having reached the penultimate station of his life, and noted how it reminded him of his annual journey from Cairo to Alexandria: at Sidi Gaber Station he begins to prepare his luggage, ready to get off the train, because the next station is the final one.
This celebratory volume, published on the occasion of the Nobel laureate's 90th birthday, brings together a selection of the more personal, reflective pieces that have appeared over the past seven years. They reveal a writer concerned as always with the human condition, with his own thought processes, and with the craft of writing, offering rare insights into the way a great writer thinks and works. The range and quality of writing is even more remarkable when one remembers that since a nearly fatal knife attack in 1994, the injuries Mahfouz sustained, combined with his failing eyesight, have made it almost impossible for him to write. But as a man who has devoted his life to the written word, Mahfouz now prepares his weekly articles through conversations with his friend Mohamed Salmawy, who has selected and gathered the pieces in this collection. Mahfouz fans and anyone interested in learning more about the life, times, and thoughts of one of the major figures of modern Arabic literature will find this volume an essential addition to their bookshelf.
- American University in Cairo Press, The
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Meet the Author
NAGUIB MAHFOUZ was born in 1911 in the crowded Cairo district of Gamaliya. He studied philosophy at Cairo University, then worked in various government ministries until his retirement in 1971. His first three published novels were Khufu's Wisdom (1939), Rhadopis of Nubia (1943), and Thebes at War (1944), all of which are set in ancient Egypt. These political and philosophical critiques disguised as historical romances show the unmistakable signs of a burgeoning literary genius. He went on to write more than 35 other novel-length works, plus hundreds of short stories and numerous cinema plots and scenarios, many of which have been made into successful films. Naguib Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1988. In 2006, he died at the age of 95.