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Cairo Modern

Mahgub Abd al-Daim is a scamp who fancies himself a nihilist, a hedonist, an egotist, but his personal vulnerability is soon revealed by a family crisis back home in al-Qanatir, a provincial town on the Nile. This cautionary morality tale about self-defeating egoism and ill-digested foreign philosophies comes from the same period as one of the writer's best-known works, Midaq Alley. Both novels are comic and heart-felt indictments of human nature and our paltry attempts to establish just societies.

Naguib Mahfouz (1911 - 2006) was born in the Cairo district of Gamaliya. He wrote nearly 40 novel-length works, plus hundreds of short stories and numerous screenplays. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. William M. Hutchins, professor in the philosophy and religion Department at Appalachian State University, is the principal translator of Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy, and the translator of numerous other works of Arabic fiction.

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