Three Novels of Ancient Egypt Khufu's Wisdom, Rhadopis of Nubia, Thebes at War by Naguib Mahfouz
Mahfouz's three novels on ancient Egypt aren't especially distinguished in terms of theme or depth (the first was published in 1939; the last in 1944, when Mahfouz was not yet thirty-three). But they are marked out for genius by Mahfouz's ability to render a completely plausible Egypt for his reader, to the point where one doesn't feel one is reading historical novels, but novels set in the only time that is. These three are as close as the novel gets to the timeless art of the storyteller.
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