Egyptian novelist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 1988 recently died, here's a bit from his obituary in Slate:
His own first novel was published in 1939, and he went on to write 40 novels and short-story collections, dozens of screenplays and literary criticism. Among his best-known books are Thief and the Dog, Miramar, and The Cairo Trilogy, a multigenerational family epic that begins with the 1919 Egyptian revolution—arguably the only popular revolution in the modern Arab world—and extends through the 1952 coup that brought Nasser to power. Mahfouz was not merely a scribe; he also participated in modern Egyptian history, albeit unwillingly, for the Islamists came for him, too, more than a decade ago to repay him for a book.
The novels mentioned in the blurb are the five I have read. The Cairo Triology (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street) is a monumental achievement and tells you more about Arab culture than an academic study ever could. It is on par with the great realistic novels of the 19th century. his later novels, like, The Thief and the Dog, are more modern in experimentalism and stream-of-cosnciousness narrative style. He was truly one of the world's great artists.