Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy [Palace Walk; Palace of Desire; Sugar Street]

Alyn Hine (The Orient-Institut Beirut)
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Regarded by many critics as his masterpiece, Naguib Mahfouz’

The Cairo Trilogy



] chronicles the upheaval and change during the years 1917 to 1944 through the microscopic lens of a single family coming face to face with political events. Each of the three novels that comprise the trilogy was named after a street in Mahfouz’ home city:

Palace Walk


Bayn al-Qasrayn


Palace of Desire


Qasr al-Shawq

] and

Sugar Street



], their titles illustrative of the composition of the Jamaliyya quarter of Cairo where Mahfouz spent his childhood and where cramped, squalid blocks of flats neighboured spacious mansions. Although all three novels are centred on the al-Husayn quarter of Cairo and document the lives of the members of a middle-class mercantile Cairene family, they…

3354 words

Citation: Hine, Alyn. "The Cairo Trilogy [Palace Walk; Palace of Desire; Sugar Street]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 September 2014 [, accessed 30 May 2024.]

35216 The Cairo Trilogy [Palace Walk; Palace of Desire; Sugar Street] 3 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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