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Echoes Of An Autobiography

by Naguib Mahfouz
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • Publishing date: 01/12/1996
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780385485555
  • ISBN: 0385485557

Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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  • Words That Sing
    From Amazon

    If you want a break from other types of books, this book is a lovely change of pace.

    It consists of very short prose pieces, perfect to pick up for a few minutes or to read before bed. If words could sing, this would be quite a fascinating composition--light, happy notes; deep, melancholy tones; charming melodies.

    For me, I immediately wanted to share certain passages with others. I will keep this book on my shelf to refer back to from time to time, when I want to remember how beautifully words can convey images.

    I also found myself amazed that a translator (Denys Johnson-Davies) could do such a fine job. Often translated works have an awkwardness, but these pieces each flow and stand on their own as individual works.

    We read this book for our book club and it was wonderful because we could each choose several pieces and read them aloud and enjoy them together.

  • Autobiography of the imagination
    From Amazon

    Despite its title, this is definitely not an autobiography of Mahfouz. Four things prove this: the narrator has three sons (Mahfouz had two daughters); he is sent to prison (Mahfouz never was); he works for a period outside Cairo (Mahfouz never did); he joins a Sufi order (Mahfouz assured me most emphatically that he never did). This was the last book that Mahfouz wrote. In fact he did not write it; it was put together out of pieces that he had dictated, and it is not clear how far it represents the complete work that he had in mind. I believe it should be regarded as a work of fiction, though it may be a fantasy of a life he would like to have lived. It is nevertheless a moving work, and it helps to enlarge our understanding of the author.

  • Most Innovative AutoBiography book
    From Amazon

    The way she wrote the autobiography is very unique. There is no pretention or any clear chronological order. It is the same way we remember our old days.

    The wordings required a deep thought and expanding imagination to really enjoy the books. Sometimes funny, sometimes it is sour.

    The only thing that makes the book four stars is due to all echoes at the quarter of the last pages are based on her admired Sheik. Had she ever have her own opinions?

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