Naguib Mahfouz

Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS, University of London)
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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 the city that shaped his thought and literary career was…

2756 words

Citation: Ouyang, Wen-chin. "Naguib Mahfouz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 May 2011 [, accessed 11 December 2023.]

12076 Naguib Mahfouz 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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