Synopses & Reviews
As one of Egyptian Theater's leading contemporary 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 non-heroic 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 in addition to the cities led to his imprisonment, battles with censorship, and exile. This remarkable writer's indomitable spirit is clearly evidenced in his spending a large part of his time while imprisoned writing plays for performances by his fellow prisons. In the first book-length examination of his work in English, Dina Amin chronicles Farag's career and offers critical perspective on his creative output and the condition of Egyptian theater in the 70s, through the 90s.
Farag is best known for the folkloric and neo-realist plays he produced during the sixties, but critics have consistently overlooked his 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 post-modern styles. With fresh insight, Amin contextualizes these works within Farag's own creative history and the larger history of Arabic theater. This book, with the inclusion of four plays and a monologue translated into English for the first time, will bring a much-deserved wider audience to the work of this extraordinary dramatist.