The characters in Naguib Mahfouz’s 1988 Nobel Prize-winning Midaq Alley vividly evoke the sights, sounds and smells of a hustling, teeming back alley of Cairo, Egypt. These people are members of an urban community caught between economic progress and deeply rooted traditions. First published in Arabic in 1947, the novel is a showcase for Mahfouz’s celebrated talent for rich and luxurious storytelling. Long after one finishes reading, the smell of fresh bread lingers, as does the image of the men gathering at the cafe for their nightly ritual.
WINNER 1988 - Nobel Prize
Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. A student of philosophy and an avid reader, he has been influenced by many Western writers, including Flaubert, Balzac, Zola, Camus, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and, above all, Proust. He has more than thirty novels to his credit, ranging from his earliest historical romances to his most recent experimental novels. In 1988, Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lives in the Cairo suburb of Agouza