[Books] The Cairo Trilogy – Naguib Mahfouz
I don’t remember exactly how I got my hands on this trilogy, but I think it’s one of those kind of books you read and then you get a more clear view of the world.
It’s nothing fancy or out of the ordinary about this trilogy. It’s a trilogy of novels written by the Egyptian novelist and Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz, and one of the prime works of his literary career (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street).
The trilogy follows the life of the Cairene patriarch Al-Sayyid (Mr.) Ahmad ‘Abd al-Jawad and his family across three generations, from 1919 – the year of Egyptian Revolution against the British colonizers ruling Egypt – to almost the end of the Second World War in 1944. The three novels represent three eras of Cairene socio-political life, a microcosm of early 20th century Egypt, through the life of one well-off Cairo merchant, his children and his grandchildren.
It’s such a complex reading covering all the aspects of the Mulsim family: religion, position of the man and woman in the society and inside the family, education, political life, view on science and medicine, misconceptions, this book has it all.
For someone who doesn’t have contact with the Orient world too much, this trilogy gives you all you need to know and to better understand how they see life and how their modern behavior in the world has deep roots in such a traditional society.
I bought the books from http://www.betterworldbooks.com, a community of second had books with fair good prices and with free delivery worldwide (plus a % of the price you pay goes to some ‘access to education’ NGOs).