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The Sinners [a novel]

Yusuf Idris, translated by Kristin Peterson-Ishaq
The Sinners [a novel]
ISBN: 978-0-89410-394-0
1984/118 pages/LC: 95-9464


A woman abandons her newborn baby in a ditch. Soon discovered, the corpse arouses in the local peasants an intense desire to bring the killer to justice—and gives them the excuse to pry into the lives of the entire community. The primary suspects are a group of migrant workers, and the question of their guilt or innocence soon reveals other kinds of truths. The Sinners is an evocative account of life in pre-revolutionary Egypt, taking a hard look at the social mores and taboos of peasant society. First published in Arabic in 1959.


A former physician, Idris (b. 1927) was imprisoned for political activism under both Farouk and Nasser. He has long made poverty and social injustice the themes of his work.