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Al-Thulathiyya
Naguib Mahfouz
publisher: , 1956-1957

translated as:
'The Cairo Trilogy'
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 2001
translation: William Maynard Hutchins

refered to by:
The Egyptologist
Arthur Phillips


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The novels of The Cairo Trilogy trace three generations of the family of tyrannical patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, who rules his household with a strict hand while living a secret life of self-indulgence. Palace Walk introduces us to his gentle, oppressed wife, Amina, his cloistered daughters, Aisha and Khadija, and his three sons-tragic and idealistic Fahmy, the dissolute hedonist Yasin, and the soul-searching intellectual Kamal. Al-Sayyid Ahmad's rebellious children struggle to move beyond his domination in Palace of Desire, as the world around them opens to the currents of modernity and political and domestic turmoil brought by the 1920s. Sugar Street brings Mahfouz's vivid tapestry of an evolving Egypt to a dramatic climax as the ageing patriarch sees one grandson become a Communist, one a Muslim fundamentalist, and one the lover of a powerful politician.
Throughout the trilogy, the family's trials mirror those of their turbulent country during the years spanning the two World Wars, as change comes to a society that has resisted it for centuries. Filled with compelling drama, earthy humor, and remarkable insight, The Cairo Trilogy is the achievement of a master storyteller.

bookweb    
BOOKS BY NAGUIB MAHFOUZ:

'The Cairo Trilogy'
1956-1957
The three novels in this trilogy, Palace Walk (1956), Palace of Desire (1957), and Sugar Street (1957), are named after three areas in the Egyptian city of Cairo.
The Harafish
1977

ON NAGUIB MAHFOUZ'S BOOKSHELF

Ulysses
James Joyce, 1922
'Great writers often seem to haunt their cities. Joyce and Kafka remain ghostly figures on the streets of Dublin and Prague, and the elfin presence of Borges is still glimpsed in the cafés of Buenos Aires. In the ancient city of Cairo, it is Naguib Mahfouz who does the haunting.'
- The Economist, 2006

The Bible
40 different authors, ca. 1450 B.C. - ca. 95 A.D.
Children of the Alley, an unmistakeably Biblical parable, depicts average Egyptians living the lives of Cain and Abel, Moses, and Jesus - to name a few (see also The Koran).

'La Comédie Humaine'
Honoré de Balzac, 1830-1850
Mahfouz was often called the 'Balzac of Egypt', because of his vivid portraits of Cairenes and their social, political and religious dilemmas.

Arabian Nights: Book of The Thousand Nights and One Night
Anonymous, 14e eeuw

'In Search of Lost Time'
Marcel Proust, 1913-1927

Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens, 1837-1838

The Outsider
Albert Camus, 1942
Mahfouz often spoke of his admiration for the French author, whose existential influence - the sense of alienation from family, friends, and society - is particularly apparent in Mahfoez's The Thief and the Dogs.

King Lear
William Shakespeare, 1605

The Koran
by followers of the prophet Mohammad, 7th century
In Children of the Alley religious figures, including the Prophet Mohammed, are presented as human beings, much to the chagrin of orthodox believers throughout the Arab world (see also The Bible).

War and Peace
Leo N. Tolstoy, (1864-1869)

Children of the Alley
1959

WHAT TO READ AFTER CHILDREN OF THE ALLEY?

BOOKS 'TO DIE FOR'
Lajja: shame
Taslima Nasrin, 1993

Gomorrah
Roberto Saviano, 2006

The Satanic Verses
Salman Rushdie, 1988

City Without Jews
Hugo Bettauer, 1922
Bestselling satire in which an Austrian chancellor expels the nation's Jews, after which all sorts of things start falling apart. Author Bettauer was murdered by a Nazi sympathizer.

The Last Summer of Reason
Tahar Djaout, 1999p

IN CAIRO
The Cairo House
Samia Serageldin, 2000

Woman at Point Zero
Nawal El Saadawi, 1983

The Yacoubian Building
Alaa al Aswany, 2004

Zayni Barakat
Gamal al-Ghitani, 1985

Diary of a Country Prosecutor
Tawfik al-Hakim, 1937

RELIGIOUS ALLEGORY
The Slave
Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1962

Lord of the Flies
William Golding, 1954

The Pilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan, 1678

The Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri, 1308-1321

Desire
Hugo Claus, 1978

Arabian Nights and Days
1982

The Thief and the Dogs
1961

Miramar
1967

The Beginning and the End
1949

Adrift on the Nile
1966

Cairo Modern
1945

The Search
1964

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