Egyptian novelist Nael Eltoukhy, author of the grittily witty Women of Karantina, recently appeared at a launch event for the English translation of his novel:
Among other things, Eltoukhy was asked why his book was described as something new on the Arabic literary scene. It’s new, he said, because humorous books — particularly the works called “sarcastic” or satiric — are seen as second-rate in the pantheon of Egyptian literature. But when writing the book, he thought, “why not use this sense of humor in an artistic work?”
Certainly there have been other literary works that have used humor — Eltoukhy noted works by Emile Habibi and Sonallah Ibrahim in particular. But generally humorous books are seen as a distinct genre.
Click HERE to read more