|Translator||Fatma Moussa Mahmoud, 1978|
|1967 in Arabic (English translation 1978)|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|LC Class||PJ7846.A46 M513 1993|
The novel is set in 1960s Alexandria at the pension Miramar. The novel follows the interactions of the residents of the pension, its Greek mistress Mariana, and her servant. The interactions of all the residents are based around the servant girl Zohra, a beautiful peasant girl from the Beheira Governorate who has abandoned her village life.
As each character in turn fights for Zohra's affections or allegiance, tensions and jealousies arise. In a style reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, the story is retold four times from the perspective of a different resident each time, allowing the reader to understand the intricacies of post-revolutionary Egyptian life.
As with many Naguib Mahfouz novels, Miramar is rife with symbolism. The character Zohra has been proposed to symbolize the ideal modern Egyptian/Egypt. She is hard working and honest but uneducated, and constantly being pulled by different forces. Among those pulling her and Egypt are Europeans, Egyptian nationalists (Wafd party), the wealthy upper-class, the Abdel Nasser regime and its followers, and the Muslim Brotherhood.