Wedding Night

An Egyptian Novel

Yusuf Abu Rayya
Translated by R. Neil Hewison

In a small town in the Nile Delta lives Houda the deaf and mute butcher’s apprentice. Revealing the town’s private stories through public sign lan

English edition
1 March 2015
144 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774166839
For sale worldwide

$12.95

In a small town in the Nile Delta lives Houda the deaf and mute butcher’s apprentice. Revealing the town’s private stories through public sign language, Houda articulates the unspoken and the forbidden, to unsettle the apparent quietude of rural society. But his own unrestrained desire threatens to scandalize the town and rock its codes of public behavior. When it is reported that he has violated the sanctity of his employer’s own house, the whole town, with the butcher and Shaykh Saadoun, the pretending Sufi, in the lead, rises to avenge itself and publicly humiliate and ridicule Houda. The elaborate ruse planned by the butcher and the shaykh, playing on Houda’ s hopes, dreams, and fantasies, is foolproof—but while Houda may be a dreamer, he is certainly no fool. This original, satiric novel, introducing the reader to every public and private corner in the life of a small town, is both a daring critique of contemporary Egyptian reality and a thoroughly good read, a remarkable novel of sustained carnivalesque suspense and wicked black humor that marks the arrival of a true literary talent.

Yusuf Abu Rayya

YUSUF ABU RAYYA, born in Hihya in the Nile Delta in 1955, is the author of six short story collections, five novels, and seven books for children. He has been on the governing board of the Egyptian branch of PEN International since 1995. R. NEIL HEWISON is the translator of City of Love and Ashes by Yusuf Idris (AUC Press, 1998), and the author of The Fayoum: History and Guide (AUC Press, 3rd ed. 2001).

R. Neil Hewison

R. Neil Hewison taught English in Fayoum from 1979 to 1982. He is the translator of two modern Arabic novels, City of Love and Ashes by Yusuf Idris (AUC Press, 1998) and Wedding Night by Yusuf Abu Rayya (AUC Press, 2006).
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