From Library Journal
Since winning the Nobel prize in 1988, Egyptian novelist and short story writer Mahfouz has garnered an increasing number of admirers outside Egypt. Those who appreciate his writings will find this small collection particularly intriguing, for it brings together an eclectic mix of personal reflections at a stage of life (he is now 90 years old) that he describes as the "penultimate station." (The title refers to the Sidi Gaber station, the next to last stop on the annual journey he used to take from Cairo to Alexandria, when he started preparing for his final destination.) Here are more than 100 short pieces, varying in length from one to one and a half pages each, selected from a series of conversations/interviews with Egyptian author Mohamed Salmawy that have appeared in the newspaper Al-Ahram Weekly over the past seven years. Thematically arranged, these pieces offer insights into the way this great writer thinks and his constant concern with the human condition, a principle interest behind the characters and settings he has chosen for many of his novels. Highly recommended for most libraries with large literary collections. Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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.