Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Cairo Trilogy

The Cairo Trilogy includes three novels by the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz. These novels were published in 1956–57. They follow the life of a Cairo family through three generations from 1917 to 1944. Mahfouz was the first Arab writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Egyptians regard the hero of Palace Walk, Ahmad abd al-Jawad and his wife Amina as archetypal figures.

In Palace of Desire, attention focuses on their sons, the sensual Yasin and the intellectual Kamal. Kamal is an autobiographical portrait of Mahfouz. Mahfouz describes how he began to write. "I started writing while I was a little boy. Maybe it's because I was reading a lot of books I admired, and thought that I would like to write something like that someday. Also, my love for good writing pushed me."

In Sugar Street the grandchildren grow up and are drawn into the conflict between the Muslim
Brotherhood and the Communists. In this trilogy Mahfouz writes “a history of my country and of myself.”

These novels are regarded as his best work.

Naguib has said, "If the urge to write should ever leave me, I want that day to be my last."

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