Prominent Egyptian Novelist Sabri Moussa, 1932-2018

Prominent Egyptian novelist and scenarist Sabri Moussa — whose Seeds of Corruption was on the Arab Writers Union’s list of the “top 105 novels” of the twentieth century — died Thursday:

Moussa was born in Damietta, Egypt in 1932 and studied painting. After graduation, he worked as a teacher for two years before he left to work as a journalist.

He launched his writing career in the 1950s, and published short-story collections, novels, and travel books, as well as writing the screenplays for a number of popular Egyptian films, including adaptations of two of Yahia Haqqi’s novels to the screen. He also helped found Sabah el-Kheir magazine and won a number of Egyptian state literary prizes.

He wrote just three novels: the science fictional The Lord Arrived from the Spinach Field, Seeds of Corruption, and The Half-meter Incident. Scholar Ada Barbaro has said she considers Moussa the “father of the dystopic novel” in Arabic fiction for his The Lord Arrived from the Spinach Field.

His Seeds of Corruption was translated by Mona N. Mikhail and published by Interlink.

Read: Moussa’s “Thee Son, the Father and the Donkey,” translated by Denys Johnson-Davies and Anna Lillios.