The Harafish

The Harafish

By Naguib Mahfouz; Najib Mahfuz; Najoib Mahfouz

Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385423359, 420pp.

Publication Date: September 17, 1997

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988, Naguib Mahfouz is perhaps the best-known livingArab writer. His books have had great success inthis country, particularly "The CairoTrilogy." Fans of the famed trilogy will bedelighted with "The Harafish," an epicnovel that chronicles the dramatic history of theal-Nagi family -- a family thatmoves, over many generations, from the height of powerand glory to the depths of decadence and decay."The Harafish" begins with the taleof Ashur al-Nagi, a man whogrows from humble beginnings to become a great leader, a legend among his people. Generation aftergeneration, however, Ashur's descendants grow furtherfrom his legendary example. They lose touch withtheir origins as they amass and then squander largefortunes, marry prostitutes when they marry at all, and develop rivalries that end in death. Thecommunity's upper class keeps a watchful eye on thedescendants of al-Nagi for fearof losing their privileges, but they find no threatof another such as Ashur. Not, that is, until theal-Nagi who, like his nobleancestor, finds his power once again from among"The Harafish," or the common people.Through the strength of their numbers and theirpassion, the glory of the name ofal-Nagi is restored. "Of all Mahfouz's] experiments in recent decades, thisis the one which owes least to western inspirationand is probably the most successful. "TheHarafish," fluently translated byCatherine Cobham, makes accessible and engrossing reading."-- "The Washington Post BookWorld.

About the Author
Naguib Mahfouz (1911 2006) was the most important Arabic writer of his generation. He is the author of over thirty novels, including "The Cairo Trilogy", "Thief and the Dog", "Miramar", and "Children of the Alley". He is the winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature.