The Day the Leader Was Killed by Naguib Mahfouz

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From the Nobel Prize laureate and author of the acclaimed Cairo Trilogy, a beguiling and artfully compact novel set in Sadat's Egypt.

"[Mahfouz] is not only a Hugo and a Dickens, but also a Galsworthy, Zola and a Jules Romain."--Edward Said

The time is 1981, Anwar al-Sadat is president, and Egypt is lurching into the modern world. Set against this backdrop, The Day the Leader Was Killed relates the tale of a middle-class Cairene family. Rich with irony and infused with political undertones, the story is narrated alternately by the pious and mischievous family patriarch Muhtashimi Zayed, his hapless grandson Elwan, and Elwan's headstrong and beautiful fiancee Randa.  The novel reaches its climax with the assassination of Sadat on October 6, 1981, an event around which the fictional plot is skillfully woven.

The Day the Leader Was Killed brings us the essence of Mahfouz's genius and is further proof that he has, in the words of the Nobel citation, "formed an Arabic narrative art that applies to all mankind."

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Naguib Mahfouz

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Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. A student of philosophy and an avid reader, his works range from reimaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. Over a career that lasted more than five decades, he wrote 33 novels, 13 short story anthologies, numerous plays, and 30 screenplays. 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 became the first writer in Arabic to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in August 2006.
Published November 26, 2008 by Anchor. 114 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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