Arabian Nights and Days

Naguib Mahfouz
Translated by Denys Johnson-Davies

Drawing on the characters and the spirit of the classic A Thousand and One Nights, Arabian Nights and Days is a significant departure for Nobel laurea

English edition
240 pp.
13X20.5cm
ISBN 9789774243899
For sale only in the Middle East

$16.95

Drawing on the characters and the spirit of the classic A Thousand and One Nights, Arabian Nights and Days is a significant departure for Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. Though he is best known for chronicling his own times, in this novel, first published in Arabic in 1982, Mahfouz injects new life into an Arabic masterpiece. Though it is set in an Islamic city in medieval times, the modern reader will find much in this novel that is surprisingly familiar. It depicts a city plagued by widespread corruption among its most powerful citizens, and a pervasive sense of social unrest and insecurity. The chief of police is kept particularly busy dealing with the underground activities of various religious sects that are intent on changing the unscrupulous regime. Amid all of this, as in the Thousand and One Nights, genies appear out of bottles accidentally opened by innocent individuals, affecting their lives in exciting, sometimes detrimental ways. Famed for his skill as a storyteller, Naguib Mahfouz has here produced a novel that is as colorful and entertaining as the book that inspired it.

Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006) was born in the crowded Cairo district of Gamaliya. He wrote nearly 40 novel-length works, plus hundreds of short stories and numerous screenplays. He was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1988. Read more about his life and his work.  

Denys Johnson-Davies

Denys  Johnson-Davies has produced more than thirty volumes of translation of modern Arabic literature, including The Essential Tawfiq al-Hakim (AUC Press, 2008), The Essential Yusuf Idris (AUC Press, 2009), and The Essential Naguib Mahfouz (AUC Press, 2011). He was described by Edward Said as “the leading Arabic–English translator of our time.”
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