Echoes of an autobiography
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."
Reminiscent of such works as Pascal's "Pensees, " this collection of short and pithy passages is not merely a narration of incidents in Mahfouz's life. Rather, it is a very personal and reflective commentary on situations and events that have lodged themselves in his memory and influenced him in some way. 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 in any idiom" ( "Vanity Fair" ), but also a profound thinker of the first order.
With more than 500,000 copies of his book in print, Naguib Mahfouz has established a following of readers for whom "Echoes of an Autobiography" provides the unique opportunity to catch an intimate glimpse into the life and mind of this magnificent storyteller. Here Mahfouz considers, with characteristic wry good humor, the myriad perplexities of existence, including his preoccupations with old age, death and life's transitory nature. Readers familiar with his novels and short stories will recognize these passages as well as many others as an "echo" of the themes that run through his writings.