A neighbourhood of demons, dancing and sweet halva, the quarter keeps quiet vigil over the secrets of all who live there.
Meet the people of Cairo’s Gamaliya quarter. There is Nabqa, son of Adam the waterseller who can only speak truths; the beautiful and talented Tawhida who does not age with time; Ali Zaidan, the gambler, late to love; and Boss Saqr who stashes his money above the bath.
This collection by pre-eminent Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz was recently discovered among his old papers. Found with a slip of paper titled ‘for publishing 1994’, they are published here for the first time. Resplendent with Mahfouz’s delicate and poignant observations of everyday happenings, these lively stories take the reader deep into the beating heart of Cairo.
- ‘A master of both detailed realism and fabulous storytelling’ – The Guardian
- ‘A towering literary figure, and the joyous chronicler of a turbulent Egyptian century’ – The Economist
- ‘Egypt’s greatest living writer … one of the world’s most humane literary figures’ – Laila Lalami, The Nation
- ‘The Arab Tolstoy’ – Simon Sebag Montefiore
- ‘Masterly … Unmistakably Cairene … translated with practised clarity by Roger Allen.’ – TLS