This highly charged fable set in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late 1960s, centers on theguests ofthe Pension Miramar as they compete for the attention of theyoung servant Zohra. Zohra is a beautifulpeasant girl who fled her family to escape an arranged marriage.She becomes the focus of jealousies and conflicts among the Miramar's residents, whoinclude an assortment of radicals and aristocrats flounderingin the wake of the Egyptian revolution. It becomes clear that the uneducated but strong-willed Zohra is the only one among them who knows what she wants.Asthe situation spirals toward violence and tragedy, the same sequence of eventsis retold from the perspective offour differentresidents, in the manner of Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, weaving a nuanced portrait ofthe intricacies of post-revolutionary Egyptian life.
About the Author
Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. His nearly forty novels and hundreds of short stories range from re-imaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. Of his many works, most famous is The Cairo Trilogy, consisting of Palace Walk (1956), Palace of Desire (1957), and Sugar Street (1957), which focuses on a Cairo family through three generations, from 1917 until 1952. In 1988, he was the first writer in Arabic to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in August 2006.
"With Miramar we are in the hands of a considerable novelist, and one who knows his country's complex problems, and complex soul, profoundly."--John Fowles