Naguib Mahfouz Day: Teaching, Translating, Memories, and More

It was December 11, 1911 when Naguib Mahfouz — Arabic literature’s most-translated modern author and its only Nobel laureate — was born:

Mahfouz was born to a family of seven children, but was distant from the hubbub, as he was born ten years after the next-youngest sibling. He began publishing essays in newspapers while still in his teens and, while he didn’t want those essays dredged up and published, this juvenilia recently began appearing from Gingko Library.

Although trained as a philosopher, at the core of his work were his novels and other imaginary writings, and he worked obsessively to hone and reinvent his literary style. Love him or hate him (or both), Mahfouz is a central figure in twentieth-century Arabic literature.

The prize he helped fund, and which is named for him, is now in its twenty-second year, and will be announced later today.

Until then:


His Nobel lecture

Excerpt from The Thief and the Dogs


William Hutchins on Translating Naguib Mahfouz’s ‘Trilogy’ and ‘Cairo Modern’

5 Questions with Catherine Cobham on Translation Mahfouz’s ‘Harafish’


Margaret Litvin: Meeting Mahfouz: An Evening at the Nadwa

How I Met Mahfouz: Amira Nowaira on Growing Up with the Trilogy

How I Met Mahfouz: Down ‘Midaq Alley’ in ’77

Gada Mahfud Dhiem: How I Met Naguib Mahfouz: ‘He’s Always Been in My Life’

Naila Kelani: ‘How I Met Mahfouz’ and Found the Doorway to (Real) Arab Lit


Mohamed Salmawy: Memories of Naguib Mahfouz and the Movies

From AUC Press: Faten Mahfouz speaks about her Nobel laureate father


Approaches to Teaching the Works of Naguib Mahfouz, ed. Waïl S. Hassan, Susan Muaddi Darraj.



Categories: Egypt, Naguib Mahfouz, Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

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