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Children of the Alley (Paperback)
The tumultuous "alley" of this rich and intricate novel (first published in Arabic in 1959) tells the story of a delightful Egyptian family, but also reveals a second, hidden, and daring narrative: the spiritual history of humankind. From the supreme fuedal 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, we find the men and women of a modern Cairo neighborood unwittingly reenacting the lives of their holy ancestors: the "children of the alley." This powerful, self-contained 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.
You'll get sucked into this mystery with a wry sense of humor just as curmudgeon Sheldon Horowitz does. As he reluctantly moves in with his granddaughter in Oslo, Norway, he becomes involved in protecting a young boy and in the process is changed. One of my favorites.