In his final years, Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz
distilled his storyteller's art to its most essential level.
Written with the compression and power of dreams, these poetic
vignettes, originally collected in two books, "The Dreams" and
"Dreams of Departure," here combined in one volume for the first
These stories telescope epic tales into tersely haunting
miniatures. A man finds his neighborhood has turned into a circus,
but his joy turns to anger when he cannot escape it. An obscure
writer finally achieves fame-through the epitaph on his grave. A
group of friends telling jokes in an alley face the murderous
revenge of an ancient Egyptian queen. Figures from Mahfouz's
past-women he loved, men who inspired him, even fictional
characters from his own novels-float through tales dreamed by a
mind too fertile ever to rest, even in sleep.
Translated by Raymond Stock
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