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Khan al-Kalili

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Khan al-Khalili, by Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, portrays the clash of old and new in an historic Cairo neighborhood as German bombs fall on the city.
   The time is 1942, World War II is at its height, and the Africa Campaign is raging along the northern coast of Egypt. Against this backdrop, Mahfouz’s novel tells the story of the Akifs, a middle-class family that has taken refuge in Cairo’s colorful and bustling Khan al-Khalili neighborhood. Believing that the German forces will never bomb such a famously religious part of the city, they leave their more elegant neighborhood and seek safety among the crowded alleyways, busy cafés, and ancient mosques of the Khan. Through the eyes of Ahmad, the eldest Akif son, Mahfouz presents a richly textured vision of the Khan, and of a crisis that pits history against modernity and faith against secularism. Fans of Midaq Alley and The Cairo Trilogy will not want to miss this engaging and sensitive portrayal of a family at the crossroads of the old world and the new.

Translated from the Arabic by Roger Allen
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Khan al-Khalili, by Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, portrays the clash of old and new in an historic Cairo neighborhood as German bombs fall on the city.
   The time is 1942, World War II is at its height, and the Africa Campaign is raging along the northern coast of Egypt. Against this backdrop, Mahfouz’s novel tells the story of the Akifs, a middle-class family that has taken refuge in Cairo’s colorful and bustling Khan al-Khalili neighborhood. Believing that the German forces will never bomb such a famously religious part of the city, they leave their more elegant neighborhood and seek safety among the crowded alleyways, busy cafés, and ancient mosques of the Khan. Through the eyes of Ahmad, the eldest Akif son, Mahfouz presents a richly textured vision of the Khan, and of a crisis that pits history against modernity and faith against secularism. Fans of Midaq Alley and The Cairo Trilogy will not want to miss this engaging and sensitive portrayal of a family at the crossroads of the old world and the new.

Translated from the Arabic by Roger Allen
Product Details
eBook (304 pages)
Published: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Anchor
ISBN: 9780307948700
Other books byNaguib Mahfouz
  • Adrift on the Nile

    Adrift on the Nile

    Palace Walk

    Palace Walk
    The Cairo Trilogy, Volume 1
    Palace Walk is the first novel in Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz’s magnificent Cairo Trilogy, an epic family saga of colonial Egypt that is considered his masterwork. The novels of the Cairo Trilogy trace three generations of the family of tyrannical patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, who rules his household with a strict hand while living a secret life of self-indulgence. Palace Walk introduces us to his gentle, oppressed wife, Amina, his cloistered daughters, Aisha and Khadija, and his three sons—the tragic and idealistic Fahmy, the dissolute hedonist Yasin, and the soul-searching intellectual Kamal. The family’s trials mirror those of their turbulent country during the years spanning the two world wars, as change comes to a society that has resisted it for centuries. Translated by William Maynard Hutchins and Olive E. Kenny  

    The Harafish

    The Harafish
    Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988,  Naguib Mahfouz is perhaps the best-known living  Arab writer. His books have had great success in  this country, particularly The Cairo  Trilogy. Fans of the famed trilogy will be  delighted with The Harafish, an epic  novel that chronicles the dramatic history of the  al-Nagi family -- a family that  moves, over many generations, from the height of power  and glory to the depths of decadence and decay.  The Harafish begins with the tale  of Ashur al-Nagi, a man who  grows from humble beginnings to become a great leader,  a legend among his people. Generation after  generation, however, Ashur's descendants grow further  from his legendary example. They lose touch with  their origins as they amass and then squander large  fortunes, marry prostitutes when they marry at all,  and develop rivalries that end in death. The  community's upper class keeps a watchful eye on the  descendants of al-Nagi for fear  of losing their privileges, but they find no threat  of another such as Ashur. Not, that is, until the  al-Nagi who, like his noble  ancestor, finds his power once again from among  The Harafish, or the common people.  Through the strength of their numbers and their  passion, the glory of the name of  al-Nagi is restored. "Of all  [Mahfouz's] experiments in recent decades, this  is the one which owes least to western inspiration  and is probably the most successful. The  Harafish, fluently translated by  Catherine Cobham, makes accessible and engrossing reading."  -- The Washington Post Book  World.

    Miramar

    Miramar
    A highly charged, tightly written tale of  intersecting lives that provides us with both an engaging  and powerful story as well as a vivid portrait of  life in Egypt in the late 1960's.

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