Described by Tawfiq al-Hakim as ‘’the renovator and genius of the short story,’’ Yusuf Idris was one of the great figures of twentieth-century Arabic literature. He was born in 1927, graduated from medical college in 1951, and practiced medicine for several years. His first collection of stories was published in 1956. In 1960 he gave up medicine to become editor of the Cairo daily newspaper al-Gumhuriya, and he continued to write and publish prolifically until his death in 1991. R. Neil Hewison lives and works in Cairo.