Paperback: Naguib Mahfouz, by Rasheed El-Enany

Cairo's Nobel-winning novelist lived through not only a century (1911-2006) but all Egypt's modern history. Part of Haus's stylish and dependable "Life & Times" series, this compact illustrated survey brings his sprawling, many-sided oeuvre into clear focus. Mahfouz ran enduring risks with his Dickensian social chronicles; the Islamist who nearly killed him in 1994 cited a "blasphemous" novel 35 years old. El-Elany delivers a handy and expert guide to a heroic life's work.