Fiction in Translation
English edition  
October  1999
125 pp.
12.5X20 cm
ISBN 9789774242670
For sale worldwide


The Mountain of Green Tea and other stories

Yahya Taher Abdullah
Translated by Denys Johnson-Davies

Yahya Taher Abdullah writes with a poetic vividness that is unblurred by outside influences. His raw material is the harsh life of the peasants of Upper Egypt, or of Cairo seen through the eyes of peasants who have migrated there in search of work. Few writers delve so subtly into a society that is strictly bounded by religious and social mores and rigid codes of behavior. It is a society without sophistication, whose members concern themselves with such basic matters as money and personal honor, and where death is ever-present to put an end to their futile endeavors. Abdullah deals with a psychological world that has no equivalent in Western life or literature. Unfamiliar though it may be, it is made real and significant by his sensitivity and artistry.
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Yayha Taher Abdullah was born in 1942 in Karnak near Luxor in Upper Egypt. He had little formal education but was soon regarded as one of the most promising of the younger generation of writers. He published three volumes of short stories and one novella. He died in a car crash in the summer of 1981. Denys Johnson-Davies has produced more than thirty volumes of translation of modern Arabic literature, including The Essential Tawfiq al-Hakim (AUC Press, 2008), The Essential Yusuf Idris (AUC Press, 2009), and The Essential Naguib Mahfouz (AUC Press, 2011). He was described by Edward Said as “the leading Arabic–English translator of our time.” Johnson-Davies received the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2007 for Personality of the Year in the Field of Culture.

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