One trilogy on the list:
The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar StreetRead about the other books on the list.
by Naguib Mahfouz
You can smell the spicy heat of Cairo's bustling streets as you read this trilogy — actually published as three books. They were written in the mid-fifties, and through three generations of a family, Mahfouz explores the ways in which social change disrupts — and enhances — people's ability to find meaning in their lives. He's especially good on the effects of a paternalistic society on the young women of the family; the books cover the period from 1919 to the end of World War II.
Sugar Street appears on Mary Ann Glendon's five best list of literary works which excel in their depiction of religion and politics.