Sugar Street is the final novel in Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz’s magnificent Cairo Trilogy, an epic family saga of colonial Egypt that is considered his masterwork.
The novels of the Cairo Trilogy trace three generations of the family of tyrannical patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, who rules his household with a strict hand while living a secret life of self-indulgence. Sugar Street brings Mahfouz’s vivid tapestry of an evolving Egypt to a dramatic climax as the aging patriarch sees one grandson become a Communist, one a Muslim fundamentalist, and one the lover of a powerful politician. Filled with compelling drama, earthy humor, and remarkable insight, Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy is the achievement of a master storyteller.
Translated by William Maynard Hutchins and Angele Botros Samaan
About the Author
NAGUIB MAHFOUZ was born in 1911 in the crowded Cairo district of Gamaliya. He studied philosophy at Cairo University, then worked in various government ministries until his retirement in 1971. His first three published novels were Khufu's Wisdom (1939), Rhadopis of Nubia (1943), and Thebes at War (1944), all of which are set in ancient Egypt. These political and philosophical critiques disguised as historical romances show the unmistakable signs of a burgeoning literary genius. He went on to write more than 35 other novel-length works, plus hundreds of short stories and numerous cinema plots and scenarios, many of which have been made into successful films. Naguib Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1988. In 2006, he died at the age of 95.
William Maynard Hutchins, the principal translator of Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy (AUC Press 1990?92), has taught English, philosophy, Arabic, and Islamic Studies in Lebanon, Ghana, Egypt, and France. His most recent book is Tawfiq al-Hakim: A Reader's Guide.
“A masterful kaleidoscope of emotions, ideas, and perspective. Mahfouz has captured a family and its homeland at one gloriously varied moment in a cycle.” —Newsday
“Mahfouz’s characters blaze with intensity, his Egypt pulsates with unresolved tension.” —The Atlanta Constitution
“A resonant tour de force, a superbly written novel. One of the most enjoyable books of recent memory.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Mahfouz presents us with a different concept of the world and makes it real. His genius is not just that he shows us Egyptian colonial society in all its complexity; it is that he makes us look through the vision of his vivid characters and see people and ideas that no longer seem so alien.” —Philadelphia Inquirer