The Cheapest Nights by Yusuf Idris
From the “genius of the short story,” a collection illuminating the lives of the Egyptian lower class by one of the most important and innovative voices of Egyptian literature
A Penguin Classic
One of Egypt’s most acclaimed and well-known authors, Yusuf Idris is heralded as a “renovator and genius of the short story” whose signature stylistic device–the combination of literary and colloquial language à la Huckleberry Finn–transformed Arabic literature. The Cheapest Nights is a collection of some of his most important works, the title story of which follows a man who, unable to sleep, angrily meditates on the state of his life and the extreme poverty in which he finds himself. With compassion, astute observational skills, and biting humor, Idris explores the fraught lives of the Egyptian working class, all the while turning a critical eye on the power structures that oppress them. His collection of short stories, with a foreword by author Ezzedine C. Fishere, is a piercing exploration of power and religion, love and death.