"As a director, scholar, and translator, Amin is able to examine Farag’s significance in Egyptian theater and social history while remaining attentive to the theatrical potential of his scripts."—Choice
As one of Egyptian theater’s leading contempo-rary playwrights, Alfred Farag has had a profound influence on shaping Arabic drama and Egyptian cultural politics during the past five decades. His plays interrogate the human condition, exposing the struggles of nonheroic individuals faced with political, social, and economic abuse. Farag’s dramatic themes, his tireless campaign to democratize the theater, and his encouragement of cultural awareness in the remote and rural regions of Egypt as well as the cities led to his battles with censorship, imprisonment, and exile. This remarkable writer’s indomitable spirit is clearly displayed by spending significant time while imprisoned writing plays for performances by his fellow prisoners. In the first book-length examination of his work in English, Dina Amin chronicles Farag’s career and offers a critical perspective on his creative output and the condition of Egyptian theater in the 1970s through the 1990s.
Farag is best known for the folkloric and neorealist plays he produced during the sixties, but critics have consistently overlooked the immense body of work produced in the thirty years that followed. Filling that gap, Amin offers an account of the sophisticated development of his later work, revealing his bold experimentation and successful embrace of modernist, absurdist, and postmodern styles. With fresh insight, Amin contextualizes these works within Farag’s own creative history and the larger history of Arabic theater. This critical text includes four complete short plays and a monologue translated for the first time into En-glish and will bring a much-deserved wider audience to the work of this extraordinary dramatist.
Dina A. Amin is assistant professor of Arabic literature and culture and theatre at Villanova University and a professional stage director in both the United States and Egypt. She is the recipient of the West Coast Drama Clan Award for Best Director from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992.
6 x 99, 384 pages, 8 black and white illustrations