A Last Glass of Tea and Other Stories

Publishing House: The American University in Cairo Press

Publication Year: 1994

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 139

“A Last Glass of Tea and Other Stories,” a collection by Mohamed El-Bisatie and translated by Denys Johnson-Davies, presents a series of narratives that are more akin to allegorical paintings than conventional stories. As noted by David Masello in The New York Times Book Review. These stories offer scenes for the reader to witness rather than become immersed in. Providing a unique literary experience.

Roger Allen, in the Journal of Arabic Literature, praises El-Bisatie’s work, emphasizing that this compilation deserves broader recognition. He highlights the collection as an excellent introduction to El-Bisatie’s artistry and the vivid world he creates. Particularly for English-reading audiences. The collection, which is well-produced and printed, serves as a gateway to El-Bisatie’s narrative world.

“A Last Glass of Tea and Other Stories” is a compelling anthology of twenty-four short stories set in the Nile Delta of Egypt. Translator Denys Johnson-Davies is commended for his adept selection of stories that are representative of El-Bisatie’s fiction and for preserving the essence of the original Arabic texts. The stories offer a panoramic view of life in the Nile Delta. Making them particularly appealing to Western readers interested in Egypt, while their aesthetic and literary value provides them with universal appeal, as highlighted by World Literature Today.

The collection paints a vivid portrait of the lives of the Egyptian poor, especially in the Nile Delta region. El-Bisatie’s stories delve into the everyday experiences and challenges faced by a diverse group of characters. Including old men, young women, prisoners, and war widows. These stories are masterfully crafted to evoke a range of emotions in the reader, from compassion and understanding to hatred & suspense.

Mohamed El-Bisatie, the author of the collection, has written several volumes of short stories and four novellas. Born in the Nile Delta, he resided in Cairo. Denys Johnson-Davies, the late translator of this collection, was a prolific figure in the world of modern Arabic literature translation. With more than twenty-five volumes of stories, novels, plays, and poetry to his credit. His translation work has been instrumental in bringing Arabic literary works to a wider audience, particularly those residing in Cairo.

Read More About Mohamed El-Bisatie

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!