The Quarter

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Pub Date: 09/24/2019

Pages: 128

Trim: 5 x 8

Publisher: Saqi Books

Imprint: Saqi Books

ISBN 13: 9780863563751

ISBN 10: 0863563759

Price: $14.95 / $19.99 CAN

Category: FICTION / Short Stories (single author)

The Quarter

By Naguib Mahfouz, Roger Allen, Elif Shafak

Price: $14.95



About the Book

Meet the people of Cairo’s Gamaliya quarter. There is Nabqa, son of Adam the waterseller who can only speak truths; the beautiful and talented Tawhida who does not age with time; Ali Zaidan, the gambler, late to love; and Boss Saqr who stashes his money above the bath. A neighbourhood of demons, dancing and sweet halva, the quarter keeps quiet vigil over the secrets of all who live there.

This collection by pre-eminent Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz was recently discovered among his old papers. Found with a slip of paper titled ‘for publishing 1994’, they are published here for the first time. Resplendent with Mahfouz’s delicate and poignant observations of everyday happenings, these lively stories take the reader deep into the beating heart of Cairo.

About the Book

These recently discovered stories by Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz take us deep into the beating heart of Cairo


Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006) was Egypt’s most eminent writer. Over a career that lasted more than five decades, he wrote thirty-four novels, thirteen short story anthologies, numerous plays and thirty screenplays. His works range from re-imaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. A writer of incredible discipline, every day he wrote for one hour, smoked three cigarettes and walked by the Nile. In 1994 he was stabbed in the neck by extremists and was seriously wounded. The injury caused nerve damage that partly paralysed his right hand, preventing him from writing. Of his many works, his most famous is The Cairo Trilogy, consisting of Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street. Other notable works include The Children of Gebelawi, The Thief and The Dogs and Autumn Quail. Mahfouz received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988, the first writer in Arabic to do so.
Roger Allen obtained his doctoral degree in modern Arabic literature from Oxford University in 1968, the first student to do so. He was Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania for forty-three years, Chair of the Department 2005–11, and President of MESA 2009–2010. His translations of Naguib Mahfouz’s novels include Mirrors, Autumn Quail, Karnak Café, Khan al-Khalili and One Hour Left, as well as the short story collection God’s World. He has also translated the seminal works of key contemporary authors such as Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, Yusuf Idris, May Telmissany, Ahmad al-Tawfiq and Hanan al-Shaykh.
Elif Shafak is an international bestselling and award-winning novelist, and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. She is known as a women's rights, minority rights and LGBT rights advocate as well as an inspirational public intellectual and speaker. She has published 16 books, 10 of which are novels, which have been published in 48 languages. Shafak is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). She has been featured in and contributes to major newspapers and periodicals around the world, including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica. Shafak has taught at various universities in Turkey, the UK and the USA.