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Midaq alley by Nagib Mahfuz

Midaq alley (original 1947; edition 1981)

by Nagib Mahfuz

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937249,295 (3.81)160
Title:Midaq alley
Authors:Nagib Mahfuz
Info:Washington, DC : Three Continents Press [1981] Paperback ; ix, 246 p. ; 18 cm.
Collections:Your library

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Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz (1947)



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Book Description Considered by many to be Mahfouz's best novel, Midaq Alley centers around the residents of one of the hustling, teeming back alleys of Cairo. No other novel so vividly evokes the sights and sounds of the city. The universality and timelessness of this book cannot be denied.

My Review This book is a wonderful rich cultural insight into the lives of men and women in Egypt. Mahfouz brings together a group of interesting characters and weaves a story of fate, love, marriage, money and Western Imperialism that is a page turner to the very end. I will definitely be checking out some of his other books because I really enjoyed his writing. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in Middle Eastern women's rights and struggles. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
Written in the 1940s, this novel by the Egyptian Nobel laureate Mahfouz deals with the plight of impoverished classes in an old quarter of Cairo. The lives and situations depicted create an atmosphere of sadness and tragic realism. Indeed, few of the characters are happy or successful. Protagonist Hamida, an orphan raised by a foster mother, is drawn into prostitution. Kirsha, the owner of a cafe in the alley, is a drug addict and a lustful homosexual. Zaita makes a living by disfiguring people so that they can become successful beggars. Transcending time and place, the social issues treated here are relevant to many Arab countries today.
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
A fine example of Middle Eastern storytelling. This story of life in Midaq Alley in Cairo, Egypt presents a microcosm of a small community of people who make up the community. Each person is described to us in a larger than life of soap opera style. This is the early forties, the world is engaged in the battles of WWII but other than that, the people of the alley really have little regard for the war except for how it can profit them, either as employees of the British or the black market. This book presents a people of Islamic faith but also as they are being influenced by Western ideas. This is a time before the rebellion against Western influence has progressed to where it is today. It was an easy read with humor but lots of truths that are timeless. ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 10, 2016 |
Midaq Alley Naguib Mahfouz

4 stars

The book focusses on the residents of Midaq Alley a street in Cairo during WWII.

While the characters seem to represent specific types (the hashish smoking coffee shop owner, the husband beating wife, the marriage arranger, the cripple maker, etc) rather than specific individual characters I enjoyed the insight into a different way of life.

Midaq Alley is a Muslim alley and it was good to see a view of Islam not coloured by recent events, where a woman can enjoy life independent of men and where husbands can be equally under the rule of their wives. ( )
  BookWormM | Feb 7, 2016 |
What happens in an alley is symbolic of...[in progress]
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mahfouz, Naguibprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Branca, PaoloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eksell, KerstinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Many things combine to show that Midaq Alley is one of the gems of times gone by and that it once shone forth like a flashing star in the history of Cairo.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385264763, Paperback)

Considered by many to be Mahfouz's best novel,  Midaq Alley centers around the  residents of one of the hustling, teeming back alleys  of Cairo. No other novel so vividly evokes the  sights and sounds of the city. The universality and  timelessness of this book cannot be denied.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

Never has Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz's talent for rich and luxurious storytelling been more evident than in this outstanding novel, first published in Arabic in 1947. One of his most popular books (and considered by many to be one of his best), Midaq Alley centers around the residents of one of the teeming back alleys of Cairo.… (more)

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