Arabic Literature
English edition  
Sep  2001
108 pp.
Paperback
12.5X20 cm
$14.95
LE75
ISBN 9789774246852
For sale only in the Middle East

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The Day the Leader Was Killed

Naguib Mahfouz
Translated by Malak Hashem

Mahfouz traces the life of a middle-class Cairene family living in the early 1980s helplessly watching as their world rapidly disintegrates in “the kingdom of the corrupt.”

In this breathtakingly compact novel, written in the mid-1980s, the focus is once again on the generational paradigm featured in the Cairo Trilogy. This time, Mahfouz traces the life of a middle-class Cairene family living in the early 1980s under President Sadat. It was an era of transition in Egypt, a time of acute crisis, as everywhere ordinary people were being pushed into the ‘’abyss of Infitah.’’ In the mad rush, there was a sense of an ending, a feeling of panic as the innocent helplessly watched their world rapidly disintegrating. A whole way of life with its age-old traditions and values was simply falling apart, making way for a merciless new materialism in ‘’the kingdom of the corrupt,’’ where survival had indeed to be for the fittest. The novel reaches its climax with the assassination of Sadat on October 6, 1981, an event around which the fictional plot is skillfully woven.
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Naguib Mahfouz was born in 1911 in the crowded Cairo district of Gamaliya. He wrote nearly 40 novel-length works, plus hundreds of short stories and numerous cinema plots and scenarios. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. He died in Cairo on August 30, 2006 at the age of 94. Malak Hashem lectures at Cairo University.

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