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Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz mines the riches of his homeland’s ancient past in Rhadopis of Nubia, an unforgettable love story set against the high politics of Egypt’s Sixth Dynasty.
While the ravishing courtesan Rhadopis is bathing, a falcon lifts one of her golden sandals and drops it into the lap of the Pharaoh Merenra II. Upon hearing Rhadopis described as “beauty itself,” the young pharaoh decides to return Rhadopis’s sandal himself. When the two meet, they are immediately seized by a passion far stronger than their ability to resist. Thus begins a love affair that makes them the envy of Egyptian society. But blinded by their love and the extravagant attentions they lavish on each other, they ignore the growing resentment of the world around them in this extraordinary tale of star-crossed love.
“Mahfouz’s characters blaze with intensity, his Egypt pulsates with unresolved tensions.” –The Atlanta Constitution
“Through works rich in nuance–now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous–Mahfouz has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.” –The Swedish Academy, The Nobel Prize in Literature
“Mahfouz’s novels provide a voice for his culture.” –The Denver Post
“He is not only a Hugo and a Dickens, but also a Galsworthy, a Mann, a Zola and a Jules Romains.” –Edward Said, London Review of Books