Morning and Evening Talk

Naguib Mahfouz
Translated byChristina Phillips

A late work by the Egyptian Nobel literature laureate, Morning and Evening Talk is an epic tale of Egyptian life over five generations. Set in Cairo,

English edition
1 January 2008
220 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774160998
For sale worldwide

$19.95

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A late work by the Egyptian Nobel literature laureate, Morning and Evening Talk is an epic tale of Egyptian life over five generations. Set in Cairo, it traces the fortunes of three families from the arrival of Napoleon at the end of the eighteenth century to the 1980s, using short character sketches arranged in alphabetical order. This highly experimental device produces a kind of biographical dictionary, whose individual entries come together to paint a vivid portrait of life in Cairo from a range of different perspectives. The characters include representatives of every class and human type, and as the intricate family saga unfolds, a powerful picture of a society in transition—and the accompanying upheaval—emerges. This is a tale of change and continuity, of the death of a traditional way of life, of the road to independence and beyond, seen through the eyes of Egypt’s citizens. Naguib Mahfouz’s last chronicle of Cairo is an elegy to a bygone era and a tribute to the Egyptian spirit. It is also one of his most technically innovative contributions to the Arabic novel.

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. Kay Heikkinen holds a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University, where she first became interested in Arabic history, language, and literature. She has taught medieval history and literature as well as Islamic civilization, and currently teaches Arabic at the University of Chicago.  
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