The Harafish (Paperback)

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Description


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.

About the Author


Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. A student of philosophy and an avid reader, his works range from reimaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. Over a career that lasted more than five decades, he wrote 33 novels, 13 short story anthologies, numerous plays, and 30 screenplays. Of his many works, most famous is The Cairo Trilogy, consisting of Palace Walk (1956), Palace of Desire (1957), and Sugar Street (1957), which focuses on a Cairo family through three generations, from 1917 until 1952. In 1988, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first writer in Arabic to do so. He died in August 2006.

Product Details ISBN-10: 0385423357
ISBN-13: 9780385423359
Published: Anchor, 09/17/1997
Pages: 420
Language: English


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