The Harafish by Naguib Mahfouz

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Synopsis

A multigenerational saga chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the al-Nagi family, from Ashur, a man of humble origins who becomes a great leader, through the decadence and decay of his descendants, to their final redemption. 20,000 first printing. $35,000 ad/promo.
 

About Naguib Mahfouz

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Writer Naguib Mahfouz was born on December 11, 1911 in Cairo, Egypt and later graduated from the University of Cairo. Mahfouz took on several civil service and government department jobs to supplement his income while writing. Mahfouz wrote three novels depicting Egyptian life: "The Games of Fate," "The Cairo Trilogy," and "Children of Gebelawi." For his writing, Mahfouz was awarded the Egyptian State Prize, the Presidential Medal from the American University in Cairo, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. He died as a result of a head injury on August 30, 2006 at the age of 94. Catherine Cobham teaches Arabic language and literature at St Andrews University, Scotland, and has translated a number of Arab authors, including Naguib Mahfouz, Yusuf Idris, Fuad al-Takarli, Hanan al-Shaykh and Liana Badr.
 
Published January 1, 1994 by American Univ. in Cairo Press. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction
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Kirkus Reviews

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As he grows, Ashur's enormous physique belies his gentleness and piety, and he lives a modest life (despite a divorce and remarriage) as a cart driver, until his miraculous evasion of a plague and unyielding charity toward the common people of the alley -- the harafish -- cause them to rename him...

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Publishers Weekly

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The penetrating realism that marked Nobel Prize winner Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy glimmers only faintly in this entertaining and colorful populist epic fable, first published in Arabic in 1977.

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Publishers Weekly

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From the winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature comes this story of the prominent al-Nagi family, whose descendents nearly ruin its legendary name.

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Los Angeles Times

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While by no means the most literary of Mahfouz's novels, "The Harafish" is a whirling dervish of a good yarn, the kind of tale Frank Capra could have made into, well, 19 or 20 good, instructive, ultimately uplifting movies.

Mar 31 1994 | Read Full Review of The Harafish

London Review of Books

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