Set among the poor of contemporary Cairo, these thirteen stories and one short novella tell of women struggling to provide themselves with the basic necessities of life. They explore the limits of self-awareness, the pressures to conform, and some of the strange paths to escape that women resort to in a conservative society shot through with social and sexual prejudice and preconceptions. Salwa Bakr contends that Arabic literature has been the domain of men and that it is the task of women writing in Arabic to redress the balance. One of Egypt’s most interesting women writers of fiction, she is an emerging talent of great power. Her published oeuvre includes three story collections, a novel, and many popular articles. This translation of The Wiles of Men and Other Stories was first published in hardcover by Quartet Books of Great Britain in 1992.
Salwa Bakr (born 1949) is an Egyptian critic, novelist and author. She was born in the Matariyya district in Cairo in 1949. Her father was a railway worker. She studied business at Ain Shams University, gaining a BA degree in 1972. She went on to earn another BA in literary criticism in 1976, before embarking on a career in journalism. She worked as a film and theatre critic for various Arabic newspapers and magazines. Bakr lived in Cyprus for a few years with her husband before returning to Egypt in the mid-1980s.