Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Writer Naguib Mahfouz dies

Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1988, passed away Aug. 30 at the age of 95. The UK Guardian notes he was best known for the novels he wrote on "Egyptian life as he knew it - particularly the urban life of Cairo's traditional neighbourhoods, where he was born and raised.... But even if Mahfouz shunned controversy, he could do little to avoid it. His support for the Camp David treaty caused his books to be banned in some Arab countries. Islamist fundamentalists judged his works blasphemous and caused some of his books to be banned in Egypt. In 1995 one young extremist stabbed him in a café, which caused him to lose the use of his writing hand. Perplexingly, when his Children of Gabalawi, long banned in Egypt by religious authorities, was finally published in Cairo earlier this year Mahfouz was against it. He said he didn't want to stir up more trouble than he already had."

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