Friday Films: ‘A Touch of Fear,’ Based on a Novella by Tharwat Abaza

Arabic Literature (in English)

Every Friday, ArabLit suggests a new classic film-book combination — for you to watch and read — until we run out of steam about 20 weeks in:

khoufThis weeks film is A Touch of Fear (1969), based on a novella of the same name by Egyptian “Knight of the Arabic Novel” Tharwat Abaza. The novel made the “top 105” list of the best novels of the twentieth century, compiled by the Arab Writers Union, and an English translation was published by the General Egyptian Book Organization in 1992. Some copies seem to be for sale online, but none in a quick scan mentioned the translator.

Born in Sharkia governorate in 1927, Abaza graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Law in 1950. After that, like many Egyptian novelists of his era, he worked in journalism. He died in 2002.

The novel and the film both are set in a small Egyptian village run by an…

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