Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth A Novel by Naguib Mahfouz

Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth A Novel

byNaguib Mahfouz

Paperback | April 4, 2000

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From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and author of the Cairo Trilogy, comes Akhenaten, a fascinating work of fiction about the most infamous pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

In this beguiling  novel, originally published in Arabic in 1985, Mahfouz tells with extraordinary insight the story of the "heretic pharaoh," or "sun king,"--the first known monotheistic ruler--whose iconoclastic and controversial reign during the 18th Dynasty (1540-1307 B.C.) has uncanny resonance with modern sensibilities.  Narrating the novel is a young man with a passion for the truth, who questions the pharaoh's contemporaries after his horrible death--including Akhenaten's closest friends, his most bitter enemies, and finally his enigmatic wife, Nefertiti--in an effort to discover what really happened in those strange, dark days at Akhenaten's court. As our narrator and each of the subjects he interviews contribute their version of Akhenaten, "the truth" becomes increasingly evanescent.  Akhenaten encompasses all of the contradictions his subjects see in him: at once cruel and empathic, feminine and barbaric, mad and divinely inspired, his character, as Mahfouz imagines him, is eerily modern, and fascinatingly ethereal.  An ambitious and exceptionally lucid and accessible book, Akhenaten is a work only Mahfouz could render so elegantly, so irresistibly.

About The Author

Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo in 1911 and began writing when he was seventeen. His nearly forty novels and hundreds of short stories range from re-imaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. Of his many works, most famous is The Cairo Trilogy, consisting of Palace Walk (1956), Pa...
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Details & Specs

Title:Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.1 × 5.1 × 0.5 inPublished:April 4, 2000Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385499094

ISBN - 13:9780385499095

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From Our Editors

He is widely regarded as the most infamous pharaoh of ancient Egypt. Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth is the story of this pharaoh known as the sun king, as well as the tale of a young man`s quest to find out what really happened in his court in the days leading up to his death. All of the pharaoh`s contemporaries are questioned, including friends, enemies and his wife Nefertiti. As the narrator learns each person`s version of the truth, the reader begins to understand the real story behind the sun king`s demise.  

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Naguib Mahfouz:"The greatest writer in one of the most widely understood languages in the world, a storyteller of the first order in any idiom." —Vanity Fair"A Dickens of the Cairo cafes." —Newsweek"The incredible variety of Naguib Mahfouz's writings continue to dazzle our eyes." —The Washington Post"Naguib Mahfouz virtually invented the novel as an Arab form. He excels at fusing deep emotion and soap opera." —The New York Times Book Review"Mahfouz's work is freshly nuanced and hauntingly lyrical. The Nobel Prize acknowledges the universal significance of his fiction." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

Employee Review

This is an intriguing novel by a Nobel Prize-winning author, about the reign of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten. A young aristocrat wishing to know the truth about his reign interviews Akhenaten's contemporaries --- both his supporters and his enemies -- in an attempt to find out the truth about this enigmatic ruler. What he discovers is that the truth is in the eye of the beholder. This novel compares well with other novels about Akhenaten: Pauline Gedge's The Twelfth Transforming, and Judith Tarr's Pillar of Fire.