From the Foreword by Nadine Gordimer: "These pieces are meditations which echo that which was, has been, and is the writer Mahfouz. They are--in the words of the title of one of the prose pieces--'The Dialogue of the Late Afternoon' of his life. I don't believe any autobiography, with its inevitable implication of self-presentation, could have matched what we have here."
With more than 500,000 copies of his books in print, Naguib Mahfouz has established a following of readers for whom Echoes of an Autobiography provides a unique opportunity to catch an intimate glimpse into the life and mind of this magnificent storyteller. Here, in his first work of nonfiction ever to be published in the United States, Mahfouz considers the myriad perplexities of existence, including preoccupations with old age, death, and life's transitory nature. A surprising and delightful departure from his bestselling and much-loved fiction, this unusual and thoughtful book is breathtaking evidence of the fact that Naguib Mahfouz is not only a "storyteller of the first order" (Vanity Fair), but also a profound thinker of the first order.
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.
Denys Johnson-Davies has lived much of his life in the Middle East and has published fifteen volumes of modern Arabic literature. He lives in Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and Spain. Roger Allen is Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of "The Arabic Novel" (1994) and "Modern Arabic Literature" (1987).
Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014), the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in a small South African town. Her first book, a collection of stories, was published when she was in her early twenties. Her ten books of stories include "Something Out There "(1984), and "Jump and Other Stories" (1991). Her novels include "The Lying Days" (1953), "A World of Strangers" (1958), "Occasion for Loving" (1963), "The Late Bourgeois World "(1966), "A Guest of Honour" (1971), "The Conservationist" (1975), "Burger's Daughter" (1979), "July's People" (1981), "A Sport of Nature" (1987), "My Son's Story" (1990), "None to Accompany Me" (1994), "The House Gun" (1998), "The Pickup" (2001), "Get a Life" (2005), and "No Time Like the Present "(2012). "A World of Strangers", " The Late Bourgeois World", and "Burger's Daughter" were originally banned in South Africa. She published three books of literary and political essays: "The Essential Gesture" (1988); "Writing and Being" (1995), the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures she gave at Harvard in 1994; and "Living in Hope and History" (1999).
Ms. Gordimer was a vice president of PEN International and an executive member of the Congress of South African Writers. She was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain and an honorary member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also a Commandeur de'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France). She held fourteen honorary degrees from universities including Harvard, Yale, Smith College, the New School for Social Research, City College of New York, the University of Leuven in Belgium, Oxford University, and Cambridge University.
Ms. Gordimer won numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize for "The Conservationist", both internationally and in South Africa.
"A haunting commonplace book of tranquil wisdom."--Kirkus Reviews
"This mosaic of autobiographical vignettes, reflections, allegories, childhood memories, dream visions, and Sufi-like spiritual maxims and paradoxes is a deep pool of wisdom that confirms his stature as a writer of universal appeal."--Publishers Weekly