Egypt Books. Read all about it.
Even if you have only read one good book in your life, you will know what pleasure reading good travel books brings. These travel and tourism books will spark your imagination, fuel your soul, and transport you to another world. Begin your literary journey now.
Palace Walk (1956)Naguib Mahfouz
This kicks off The Cairo Trilogy, a multigenerational saga of one family and their city from the 1919 uprising against British rule until Colonel Nasser seizes power in 1952. The trilogy is Mahfouz’s masterwork and helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Yacoubian Building (2002)Alaa-Al-Aswany
A best-selling, taboo-breaking novel about the people who live and work in a formerly grand, now-declining, Cairo apartment building. Meet a wheeler-dealer politician, a gay newspaper editor, and a doorman drawn to militant Islam.
Egypt on the Brink (2010)Tarek Osman
Published just before the Arab Spring, Osman provides a “lively and authoritative” account of Egypt’s transformation in modern times.
Egypt: A Short History (2010)Robert L. Tignor
Tignor, a distinguished professor of history at Princeton, achieves the daunting task of providing a concise, accessible, and expert overview of 5,000 years of Egyptian life.
Justine (1957)Lawrence Durrell
The first of Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, four celebrated novels about sexual and political intrigue in multi-ethnic Alexandria before and during World War II. Durrell’s lush, nuanced depiction of the city is considered a great feat of twentieth-century literature.
Out of Egypt: A Memoir (1994)André Aciman
The Los Angeles Times called Aciman’s account of life in Alexandria as part of a polyglot, eccentric Jewish family “beautifully remembered and even more beautifully written.”
The Essential Yusuf Idris (2009)Yusuf Idris
An introduction to Egypt’s master of the short story. Idris was renowned for his realistic portraits of everyday life in Egypt’s cities and villages and for his leftist political views.
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit (2007)Lucette Lagnado
Another wonderful, prize-winning memoir about Jewish life in 20th-century Egypt and of the sudden exiling of this seemingly secure and thriving community.
The Map of Love (1999)Ahdaf Soueif
Nominated for the Booker Prize, this epic novel links the love affair of an upper-class Englishwoman and an Egyptian nationalist in 1900 with the contemporary relationship of her American great-granddaughter and an Egyptian musician.
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt (2010)Toby Wilkinson
The Los Angeles Times called this a “magnificent, illuminating and refreshingly readable” account of ancient Egypt from the great pyramids to Cleopatra and much in-between.
Women in Ancient Egypt (1991)Barbara Watterson
Watterson argues in this readable, expert account full of surprising details that Egyptian women enjoyed a higher status and better lives than many of their counterparts in the ancient world.