Naguib Mahfouz
English edition  
July  2006
128 pp.
Paperback
14X21 cm
$14.95
LE100
ISBN 9789774160257
For sale only in the Middle East

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The Seventh Heaven

Stories of the Supernatural Naguib Mahfouz
Translated by Raymond Stock

Intriguing tales of the surreal from Egypt’s Nobel literature laureate

Naguib Mahfouz, famed for his uncanny power to depict the real world, is equally ingenious at capturing the surreal, the otherworldly, and the supernatural. The ghostly side of Mahfouz’s fiction, though less well known than his other works, nonetheless remains a haunting presence. This collection of stories sifted from his later writings brings these restless spirits out of the Mahfouzian shadows together for the first time in English: A murdered man finds himself in the first level of what he mistakes for Paradise—where he faces, along with historical figures such as Akhenaten, Woodrow Wilson, and Gamal Abd al-Nasser, a strange system of earthly probation that may (or may not) get him to the fabled Seventh Heaven. A teenager is warned not to go near the allegedly haunted wood in his neighborhood, only to be drawn into the secret, enchanted life he finds within it. An honest perfume seller is accosted on a night out by angry skeletons, who threaten to march upon his alley as an avenging army if the sinners there do not change their ways. Satan speaks to us directly—to confess that there is still, despite the flood of evil in our times, an honorable man in the land. These and the other startling stories in The Seventh Heaven make a vivid contribution to the translated works of Egypt’s—and the Arab world’s—greatest modern author. RAYMOND STOCK
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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. Raymond Stock is writing a biography of Naguib Mahfouz. He is the translator of Naguib Mahfouz’s Voices from the Other World (AUC Press, 2002), Khufu’s Wisdom (AUC Press, 2003), and The Dreams (AUC Press, 2004).

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“Naguib Mahfouz's supernatural fiction is outstanding, and it's too bad it's lesser known than his other works. The story collection culls his later writings to gather a supernatural presentation under one cover for the first time, presenting very different focuses than your usual ghost story gathering. From a teen facing down a haunted wood in his neighborhood to discover a rare secret to an honest perfume seller accosted by angry skeletons, good and evil are present in the supernatural world, seep into the world of the living, and seep into the satisfying reads her”—Midwest Book Review

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