Bowdoin Reads

Professor Naculich is reading...

The Cairo Trilogy
by Naguib Mahfouz

I am currently in the midst of the Cairo Trilogy,(Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street) by Naguib Mahfouz (Nobel Prize for Literature 1988). These three novels tell the story of three generations of an Egyptian family during the first half of the twentieth century. In an intensely patriarchal culture and against the political background of Egypt's struggle for ndependence, the richly-drawn characters experience love, rebellion, infidelity, and tragedy. Particularly interesting is the complex variety of relationships that each of the characters have with Islam, some sincerely devout, others offering lip service while flouting its demands, and yet others rejecting it. Altogether a fascinating read.

1 comment | Find in library

Submitted by bspaeth on Fri, 08/26/2011 - 10:49am.
Wandering through the aisles of the Curtis Memorial Library, I selected the "Palace Walk" mid summer last year. At that time the streets of Cairo were quiet. How perfect my timing was that the youth were hitting the streets in the novel (with a mix of ideology, trepidation and profound family loyalty) as I was listening to the events unfold on the streets of contemporary Cairo. The complexity of Martyrdom resounds. I am a fan of open stacks libraries where one can literally stumble across poignant narrative.