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A Good Place To Start

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Palace Walk 3
Midaq Alley 1
Children of the Alley 1

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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Naguib Mahfouz (1911 - 2006)

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

tim helck October 23rd, 2007 08:02 PM PST

I've read 5 of his books. Children of the Alley is my favorite, because it is so beautifully written and the translation, by Peter Theroux, is superb.

This is the book that got him into trouble with the fundamentalists. It resulted in a fatwa from the "blind sheik" (the one who is in prison for masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center) and an attempted assassination that put Mahfouz in the hospital.

The book is an allegorical history of the Abrahamic religions. It is clearly the work of a secularist, but I did not find the tone to be irreligious -- so I'm a little mystified as to why it was found to be so offensive.

dewey_decimal February 20th, 2008 02:25 PM PST

I highly recommend Palace Walk, the first book in the Cairo trilogy (the other two are Palace of Desire and Sugar Street).

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