Seers, Saints and Sinners : The Oral Tradition of Upper Egypt
Traditional Egyptian folktales have a flavor and vivacity that until now has proved impossible to render in translation. Here, Elizabeth Wickett presents a translation into English of five rich and vivid tales from Upper Egypt that accurately captures the drama, wit, and vitality of Egyptian oral narrative in performance. The stories include the tale of Maimuna, the slave girl of Mecca, crucified for her beliefs, and the erotic tale of Aziza, the flamboyant daughter of the Sultan of Tunis, who attempts to seduce and capture the handsome and innocent Yunis. The author explores the broader literary and social significance of each tale, as well as the aesthetics of performance, gender issues, and parallels with other Egyptian and Near Eastern tales. A unique record of a disappearing and little known tradition.