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Children of the Alley (Paperback)
The tumultuous alley of this rich and intricate novel (first published in Arabic in 1959) is inhabited by a delightful Egyptian family, but is also the setting for a second, hidden, and more daring narrative: the spiritual history of humankind. The men and women of a modern Cairo neighborood unwittingly reenact the lives of their holy ancestors: from the feudal lord who disowns one son for diabolical pride and puts another to the test, to the savior of a succeeding generation who frees his people from bondage. This powerful novel confirms again the richness and variety of Mahfouz's storytelling and his status as "the single most important writer in modern Arabic literature" (Newsweek). From the eBook edition.
About the Author
Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. His nearly forty novels and hundreds of short stories range from re-imaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. 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 the first writer in Arabic to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in August 2006.
Sophronia Angelina Temminnick spends her days running around on adventures in her family’s Victorian country home in a very un-ladylike manner. So to prepare her to enter society as she becomes a young woman, her family enrolls her into Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But the school isn’t what Sophronia expects… firstly, it’s not in any sort of building but a giant, floating dirigible! Although she and her new classmates do learn dance, dress, and etiquette, she soon realizes that the school is also an academy to use feminine guiles for more sinister aims like espionage, manipulation, and even assassination! Sophronia’s lessons at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s include learning how to poison with proper tea service and the ins and outs of the aristocracy from a Vampire. With the author’s dry humor and wit, this series both celebrates and satirizes the steam punk world. An exciting, saucy, and hilarious read! - Linnea