<b>Children of our alley</b> The AUC Naguib Mahfouz Award and the Egyptian Literary field

Samia Mehrez

in Egypt's Culture Wars

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163746
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970399 | DOI:
Children of our alley The AUC Naguib Mahfouz Award and the Egyptian Literary field

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This chapter uses Naguib Mahfouz's 1959 novel Awlad haratina (English translation Children of Our Alley, 1996) and its representation of the status of the scribe of the alley as an extended metaphor to look at the literati themselves and the politics and battles that permeate the constrained and globally dependent literary field in Egypt through a reading of the American University in Cairo (AUC) annual Naguib Mahfouz Award over the past 11 years. By focusing on the nature of the battles that erupt yearly after the announcement of the prize, the discussion explores issues of class and gender, as well as cultural and national belonging that on the one hand circumscribe the literary field and on the other situate it within a global context.

Keywords: Awlad haratina; Cairo; Naguib Mahfouz; Al–Ahram; Ferial Ghazoul; Children of Our Alley

Chapter.  8500 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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