The Seventh Heaven
Publication Date: December 5, 2006
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Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz draws on his homeland’s rich engagement with the afterlife–and his own near-death experience at the hands of a would-be assassin–in these newly translated, brilliantly mysterious stories of the supernatural.
Among those who haunt these tales are the ghosts of Akhenaten, Woodrow Wilson, and Gamal Abd al-Nasser, who endure a strange system of earthly probation in the hope of gaining entry to the fabled Seventh Heaven; a teenager drawn into the secret, enchanted life he finds within his neighborhood’s forbidden wood; an honest perfume seller accosted on a night out by angry skeletons; and Satan himself, who confesses that there is still, despite the flood of evil in our times, an honorable man in the land. As ingenious at capturing the surreal as he is at documenting the very real social landscape of modern Cairo, Mahfouz guides these restless spirits as they migrate from the shadowy realms of other worlds to the haunted precincts of our own.
Translated by Raymond Stock
Naguib Mahfouz is the most prominent author of Arabic fiction today. He was born in 1911 in Cairo and began writing at the age of seventeen. His first novel was published in 1939. Since then he has written nearly forty novel-length works and hundreds of short stories. In 1988 Mr. Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in 2006.
Raymond Stock (translator) is writing a biography of Naguib Mahfouz. He is the translator of Mahfouz’s Voices from the Other World, Khufu’s Wisdom, and The Dreams.
“Mahfouz’s work is freshly nuanced and hauntingly lyrical.” —Los Angeles Times
“A storyteller of the first order in any idiom.” —Vanity Fair