In one of the most important novels of his long and illustrious career, Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz
tells the story of a delightful Egyptian family, but also reveals a second, hidden, and daring narrative: the spiritual history of mankind. “An ambitious fable that attempts to embrace within it pages not merely the world of the Middle East but that of the world itself”.—The Washington Post Book World.
The tumultuous “alley” of this rich and intricate novel (first published in Arabic in 1959) tells the story of a delightful Egyptian family, but also reveals a second, hidden, and daring narrative: the spiritual history of humankind. From the supreme fuedal lord who disowns one son for diabolical pride and puts another to the test, to the savior of a succeeding generation who frees his people from bondage, we find the men and women of a modern Cairo neighborood unwittingly reenacting the lives of their holy ancestors: the “children of the alley.” This powerful, self-contained novel confirms again the richness and variety of Mahfouz's storytelling and his status as “the single most important writer in modern Arabic literature” (“Newsweek”). “From the eBook edition.”
NAGUIB MAHFOUZ was born in 1911 in the crowded Cairo district of Gamaliya. He studied philosophy at Cairo University, then worked in various government ministries until his retirement in 1971. His first three published novels were Khufu's Wisdom (1939), Rhadopis of Nubia (1943), and Thebes at War (1944), all of which are set in ancient Egypt. These political and philosophical critiques disguised as historical romances show the unmistakable signs of a burgeoning literary genius. He went on to write more than 35 other novel-length works, plus hundreds of short stories and numerous cinema plots a