The Coffeehouse

The Coffeehouse

Naguib Mahfouz
Translated by Raymond Stock
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt15m7m72
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  • Book Info
    The Coffeehouse
    Book Description:

    On a school playground in the stylish Cairo suburb of Abbasiya, five young boys become friends for life, making a nearby café, Qushtumur, their favorite gathering spot forever. One is the narrator, who, looking back in his old age on their seven decades together, makes the other four the heroes of his tale, a Proustian (and classically Mahfouzian) quest in search of lost time and the memory of a much-changed place. In a seamless stream of personal triumphs and tragedies, their lives play out against the backdrop of two world wars, the 1952 Free Officers coup, the defeat of 1967 and the redemption of 1973, the assassination of a president, and the simmering uncertainties of the transitional 1980s. But as their nation grows and their neighborhood turns from the green, villa-studded paradise of their youth to a dense urban desert of looming towers, they still find refuge in the one enduring landmark in their ever-fading world: the humble coffeehouse called Qushtumur.

    eISBN: 978-1-61797-315-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iii])
  2. The Coffeehouse
    (pp. 1-118)

    Abbasiya in its lost youth. An oasis in the heart of a vast desert. In its east loomed mansions like little fortresses, and in its west were small, clustered houses, vain of their hidden gardens and of their newness. On more than one side it was enfolded by green fields, and by forests of date palms, henna plants, and prickly pear trees. Its calm and quiet would have been complete but for the humming of the white tram, shuttling on its well-worn tracks between suburban Heliopolis and Ataba Square. The dry desert wind that beat down, drawing the deepest perfume...