A NOSE AND THREE EYES, novel cover and film poster

Books and Movies for Summer

A Nose and Three Eyes Novel cover

A Nose and Three Eyes, Hoopoe’s latest release, finds itself in the spotlight in 2024.

The classic novel by Ihsan Abdel Kouddous was translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Smolin and, with a foreword by Hanan al-Shaykh, was published in a new edition by Hoopoe in June 2024.

Reimagined for a 2024 audience, the novel has also made its way to the silver screen in a new rendition of the 1972 film, bearing the same name, featuring a stellar cast of Egyptian celebrities.

The original 1972 film can be viewed here, and the 2024 film can be streamed online on Yango Play.

The new film has been well received, with MENAFN saying: “A Nose and Three Eyes, is a heartfelt romance drama inspired by Ihssan Abdel Kouddos’s famous novel . . . this film delves deep into themes of love, memory, and self-discovery.”

A Nose and Three Eyes, 2024 Arabic film poster
A Nose and Three Eyes English Novel cover and Jonathan Smolin's photo.

On the occasion of the novel’s release this year, AUC Press spoke with translator Jonathan Smolin, Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor in Asian Studies at Dartmouth College, who also translated I Do Not Sleep (Hoopoe, 2022), Ihsan Abdel Kouddous’s first novel to be translated into English. In an AUC Press blog post, he commented, “I discovered an entirely new side to the fiction, an aspect that had been completely lost” –Jonathan Smolin.

Stanford University Press is publishing Jonathan Smolin’s social history, The Politics of Melodrama: The Cultural and Political Lives of Ihsan Abdel Kouddous and Gamal Abdel Nasser, which includes a chapter on the novel A Nose and Three Eyes.

ArabLit published coverage of Nose and Three Eyes and said, “By the 1940s Rose felt that her time as an editor had run its course. Her son from her first marriage, Ihsan [Abdel Kouddous], was an aspiring writer himself. In 1945 she commissioned him to write an article for the magazine, in which he sharply criticized the British ambassador to Egypt, Miles Lampson. Shortly after the article was published, Ihsan was briefly jailed and the issue banned. After Ihsan’s experience, one so familiar to Rose, she finally deemed him ready to continue her mission. As soon as he got out of jail, Rose appointed him editor in chief at Rose al-Youssef and retired after twenty years in charge and some thirty years of fame. Ihsan both followed the path his mother blazed and set down his own. He wrote at least 60 novels and collections of short stories. Many became movies. Many are still remembered: still read, still borrowed, still printed, still downloaded.”

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