Tales of Encounter

Three Egyptian Novellas

Yusuf Idris
Translated by Rasheed El-Enany

Yusuf Idris was undoubtedly one of Egypt’s most talented and versatile writers in the second half of the twentieth century. The first two novellas i

English edition
15 October 2012
176 pp.
12.5X20cm
ISBN 9789774165627
For sale worldwide

$17.95

Yusuf Idris was undoubtedly one of Egypt’s most talented and versatile writers in the second half of the twentieth century. The first two novellas in this volume, Madam Vienna and The Secret of His Power, come from the peak period in his career, the late 1950s and early 1960s, while New York 80 belongs to his late period, the 1980s. Yet something holds these three works together, despite their different periods and their scattered settings: Vienna, an Egyptian Delta village, and New York. They all deal with a seminal theme in Arabic fiction since its nascent years and until today: the East–West encounter, often treated allegorically by Arab writers through a love story between an Arab man and a Western woman who stand for their respective cultures. In these three novellas, Idris harnesses his remarkable narrative skills to tell us some of the most memorable stories of the encounter in Arabic fiction.

Yusuf Idris

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.

Rasheed El-Enany

Rasheed El-Enany is professor of modern Arabic literature at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Naguib Mahfouz: The Pursuit of Meaning.
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