Naguib Mahfouz was one of the most prominent writers of Arabic fiction in the twentieth century. Born in Cairo in 1911, he began writing when he was seventeen. Over his long career, he wrote nearly forty novel-length works and hundreds of short stories, ranging from re-imaginings of ancient myths to subtle commentaries on contemporary Egyptian politics and culture. His most famous work is The Cairo Trilogy (consisting of Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, and Sugar Street), which focuses on a Cairo family through three generations, from 1917 until 1952. In 1988, Mahfouz became the first writer in Arabic to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died in August 2006.