WHAT ARE WE READING? 2016The 2016 Reading Across Campus text is Heart of the Night by Naguib Mahfouz.
Set in modern Cairo, this finely-crafted novel gives us one of Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz’s most complex characters, the dejected yet always determined Jaafar Ibrahim Sayyid al-Rawi. Over the course of a single night, Jaafar tells the story of how a series of fateful decisions caused him to lose what is often most valued in life: his fortune, his good reputation, and even the support of his family. Yet despite these many losses, Jaafar remains driven by another set of priorities, including the pursuit of authentic experience, a commitment to social justice, and a deep sense of spirituality. Singularly committed to his guiding motto—“let life be filled with holy madness to the last breath”—Jaafar challenges us to rethink our own values and commitments, and to embrace life in all of its uncertainty and wonder.
Naguib Mahfouz is the most widely-read and respected modern Arabic author. Born in Egypt in 1911, he enjoyed a long career as a writer, publishing thirty-four novels, hundreds of short stories, and dozens of movie scripts and plays. In 1988, Mahfouz became the first and only Arab writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, an honor that brought significant international attention to contemporary Arabic literature. Having lived his life between Cairo and Alexandria, Mahfouz died in 2006.
Naguib Mahfouz’s Heart of the Night
is available for download as an e-book through the AUD Library’s online resources
Heart of the Night
is also available at many bookstores throughout Dubai, and can be ordered directly from the American University in Cairo Press
, and/or BookDepository.com