Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 53

Naguib Mahfouz - Life and work, Works

cairo novelist novels arab

Novelist, born in Cairo, Egypt. He graduated from Cairo University in 1934 and held administrative posts, but by 1939 had already written three novels. His later work was somewhat overshadowed by the notoriety surrounding The Children of Gebelawi (1961), serialized in the magazine Al-Ahram, which portrayed average Egyptians living the lives of Cain and Abel, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. Islamic scholars judged the work blasphemous and it was banned throughout the Arab world, except Lebanon, and did not reappear in Egypt until 2006. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988, after which many of his novels were translated into English and other languages. In 1994 he survived a knife attack on his life by Islamic fundamentalists, and in 1996 published Echoes of the Autobiography (trans title). Generally regarded as the greatest Arab novelist of the 20th-c, he continued to live modestly in his flat beside the R Nile in Cairo until his death.

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or