Tawfik al-Hakim was born in Alexandria in 1898 and studied law in Paris. He worked as a public prosecutor in a provincial Egyptian town before becoming the Arab world's leading dramatist as well as a major short-story writer and man of letters. He died in 1987.
'touching and yet savagely funny.' The Bookseller 'a satirical tale of country life under a repressive and far-away Cairo legal system.' Literary Review 'a book to be read and enjoyed ... a classic of translation.' World Literature Today