I was between projects, on the prowl for cheap (literary) thrills, and a friend of a friend recommended Ihsan Abdel Quddous. I am withholding judgement until I’ve finished the book, but I have to say, based on the author’s forward, we are off to a dubious start:
Many people have said to me: if you had a daughter, you would not have written these stories that you write, nor espouse these daring opinions as you do…
They are wrong.
A writer, when forming his opinion, does so based on his view of the whole society, not his view of himself or his family…in any case, there are many girls in my family…they have all read my stories, and I hope that each and every one has taken my words to heart.
This speech I dedicate to my little niece Fatima Al Jundi, and to all daughters…may I see them all happy.
-Ihsan Abdel Quddous
And just what might these ‘daring opinions’ be? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough…
The original text in Arabic: