A Nose and Three Eyes: A Novel

A Nose and Three Eyes: A Novel

AUC Press

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By Ihsan Abdel Kouddous 
Translated by Jonathan Smolin 
Foreword by Hanan al-Shaykh

Written by iconic Egyptian novelist Ihsan Abdel Kouddous, this classic of love, desire, and family breakdown smashed through taboos when first published in Arabic and continues to captivate audiences today

It is 1950s Cairo and 16-year-old Amina is engaged to a much older man. Despite all the excitement of the wedding preparations, Amina is not looking forward to her nuptials. And it is not because of the age gap or because of the fact that she does not love, or even really know, her fiancé. No, it is because she is involved with another man.

This other man is Dr Hashim Abdel-Latif, and while he is Amina’s first love, she is certainly not his. Also many years her senior, Hashim is well-known in polite circles for his adventures with women. A Nose and Three Eyes tells the story of Amina’s love affair with Hashim, and that of two other young women: Nagwa and Rahhab.

A Nose and Three Eyes is a story of female desire and sexual awakening, of love and infatuation, and of exploitation and despair. It quietly critiques the strictures put upon women by conservative social norms and expectations, while a subtle undercurrent of political censure was carefully aimed at the then Nasser regime. As such, it was both deeply controversial and wildly popular when first published in the 1960s. Still a household name, this novel, and its author, have stood the test of time and remain relevant and highly readable today.

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