Naguib Mahfouz’s magnificent epic trilogy of colonial Egypt appears here in one volume for the first time. The Nobel Prize—winning writer’s masterwork is the. Naguib Mahfouz’s magnificent epic trilogy of colonial Egypt appears here in one volume for the first time. The Nobel Prize-winning writer’s masterwork is the. Late novelist Naguib Mahfouz, pictured in , is considered the ‘godfather “ The Cairo Trilogy is a work on a par with Leo Tolstoy’s War and.

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In particular, the two grandsons Ahmad and Abd al-Muni’m Shawkat pursue opposing ideological avenues concerning atheism and faith, but both camps Communism; Muslim Brethren fall afoul of the authoritarian government. One key may be a line that ends a chapter about people taking shelter during a nighttime air raid: Many exchanges follow strict formulas and expectations: The children of both these couples are in their infancy as this novel proceeds, but the most compelling figure in volume 2 is Kamal, the youngest sibling of al-Sayyid Ahmad and Amina.

A fair aspect in judging artistry is the degree to which the work achieves universality.

Sep 24, Maria rated it it was amazing. Looking back historically, we have also the rediscovery of some of the oral epics dating back over the last thousand years, such as the Mali “Legend of Sundiata,” “The Ozidi” and “The Mwindo. He is the son of a prior marriage. At the same time, not all families operate in this same way. They will dominate the bulk of the three books.

So it is with this family saga set in turn of the 19th into the 20th century Cairo in a lower middle class household. Next, upon his return to his villiage he finds the white men and their religion Christianity have made inroads into the ancient tribal traditions and he acts rashly with inflexible reactionary excess, killing an official of the white government to defend tribal tradition.


For example, the patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad, is unyielding in his authority over trology family at the beginning of volume 1.

Egyptian hopes went unfulfilled for many frustrated, angry years even after the Egyptian Revolution View all 30 mmahfouz. Although long, the novel is not draggy. This story is much more ambiguous, less rooted in the political events of the time though they are still discussed by the characters, occasionally. It may seem unreal or fake in the book, but it is true. Having don so, he calls for all-out war against the intruders, buts finds that the people have changed their mindset and are not willing to fight.

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Arabic Treasures: how The Cairo Trilogy is a family saga for the ages

There trilog familial love, but socially sanctioned extreme male dominance. They walk through life, wondering what happened to them, but they find no answers. Part of this relationship is observed by his youngest son, if I remember correctly. Having read the trilogy as a singular work, I believe in order to gain the full appreciation of the novels, it is important to read them together as one book.

The second installment of the trilogy continues the changing mores of the al-Jawad family, as some of the children are near adults, educated, and married. He keeps searching for meaning of his life until the last scene that seems an imposed one by Mahfouz to give some air of hope.

The story of the Abd al-Jawad family nqguib the changes in the country. If it were an HBO series I’d write in to have it renewed for another season. Palace Walk covers the period from toPalace of Desire jumps ahead and covers the period from toand Sugar Street covers the period to Khadija’s sons Abd al-Muni’m and Ahmad become politically active, one by joining the Muslim Brethren, the other by working as a journalist for a left-wing periodical.


The minor character the Shayk, goes from revered to irrelevant to nagyib. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

The novel shows a departure in his approach, being written in an episodic form, a form that he was to adopt later in other works. 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.

It was the novel that brought its author into conflict with Egypt’s religious authorities. The main point is that you’d Forget about the Nobel Prize maahfouz a minute. Want to Read saving…. The world is full of contradictions, as are these very human characters.

On top and what drives the story are its colourful characters and how they interact with each fairo.

The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz | : Books

Yasin’s opportunistic son Ridwan finds a whole different route to success, currying favour in an age-old if still surprising way. There are two daughters, who, given the few number of pages are almost just stereotypes. The Idiot Fyodor Dostoevsky. Mahfouz offers an impressive picture of everything from the staggeringly backwards treatment of the girls and women, and the amazing ease in which marriages are entered into, to the more complex relationships as class and sexual barriers are lowered.