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 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.
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) was born in South Africa. She received numerous international prizes for her writing, including the Modern Language Association Award, the Bennett Award, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. She was given honorary degrees by Yale, Harvard, and other universities and was honored by the French government with the decoration Commandeur de l Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
"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