Naguib Mahfouz

(2877 words)
  • Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS, University of London)

Naguib Mahfouz (December 11, 1911-August 30, 2006) is to date the only Arab writer to have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1988). His global reach is magnified by the very fact that he rarely travelled outside Egypt - he did not even appear at his own Nobel Award Ceremony. He seemed to have confined himself physically, emotionally and literarily to Cairo, where he was born into a lower middle-class Muslim family and lived all his life. Al-Jamaliyya, the quarter of his birth in old Cairo, and al-‘Abbasiyya, the suburb in new Cairo to which his family moved in 1924, would remain at the heart of practically all his writings. This exclusive devotion to Cairo cannot hide the cosmopolitan outlook underpinning his works. For t…

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Ouyang, Wen-chin. "Naguib Mahfouz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 May 2011
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]

Articles on Mahfouz's works

  1. The Cairo Trilogy [Palace Walk; Palace of Desire; Sugar Street]

Related Groups

  1. Nobel Prize-winners
  2. Middle Eastern Literatures& Cultures