Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “عرس الزين” as Want to Read:
عرس الزين
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

عرس الزين

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,558 ratings  ·  274 reviews
النيل والفرات:
"يولد الأطفال فيستقبلون الحياة بالصريخ، هذا هو المعروف. ولكن يروى أن الزين، والعهدة على أمه والنساء اللائي حضرت ولادتها، أول ما مس الأرض، انفجر ضاحكاً. وظل هكذا طول حياته. كبر وليس في فمه غير سنتين، واحدة في فكه الأعلى، والأخرى في فكه الأسفل، وأمه تقول إن فمه كان مليئاً بأسنان بيضاء كاللؤلؤ. ولما كان في السادسة ذهبت به يوماً لزيارة قريبات لها، فمرا عند مغيب ا
...more
104 pages
Published 2006 by دار العودة (first published 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about عرس الزين, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rhiannon Grant It's actually three stories, so depends which one you're asking about! In the final and longest one, the main character is the eponymous Zein.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,558 ratings  ·  274 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Carol
The Wedding of Zein is magnificent, compelling, Salih at his best. Pass on the “Other Stories.”
Tony
(I've generated some nasty comments recently to my reviews, the main arguments being I am either unspeakably glib or largely ignorant of actual historical context. Maybe. But I mean well. I hope my shelves show I'm trying to learn about life outside my zip code, and if I have a few intellectual hiccups, I think overall this exercise is working. Maybe. I write this preface because I know some people get angry about their issue. This review is not a lawyer's brief; nor is it a speech by some Heinz ...more
Agnieszka

The Wedding of Zein, a charming short story is an example of African, precisely Sudanese magical realism in literature. The main character, Zein, is a village misfit, for some an idiot even, also not too impressive in the looks department. But he is a kind-hearted man and likes to help people especially these poor and excluded from the community. He’s also very amorous and the girl who will find herself in the centre of his attention soon will get married. Unfortunately not to Zein.

The novel is
...more
Tsung
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is what the book is like:

You gather expectantly around a fire, patiently awaiting the sagacious old man with the wild, untrimmed beard to begin his stories. He is unsophisticated and speaks plainly. The stories are tragicomical and a little bit mythical. They are engaging although the old man tends to digress and meander. The stories are subtle and their meaning are not immediately obvious, like a wisdom tale or a fable. As he finishes his stories, you want to know more. But then the old ma
...more
Lark Benobi
I just finished reading this remarkable novel and I'm filled with that ecstatic, airy joy that comes once in a great while, at the end of a perfect read. Maybe not perfect for you. I can't say. It's a very different story. It's not even supposed to be Salih's 'masterpiece;' Season of Migration to the North is that. All I can say for sure is that I felt the presence of an author who was in complete command of the story he wanted to tell, and that it's like no other story I've read before.

Zein, t
...more
Zak
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Contains the novella 'The Wedding of Zein' and two other short stories. The two short stories were okay, nothing special. The novella itself is a beautifully written story about a most unlikely hero. The prose is sometimes abrupt to the point of being jolting and other times magically lyrical. This contrast kept me glued to the pages and eager to reach the conclusion. However, I feel that the short length didn't allow enough opportunity to flesh out the story more fully, with the result that the ...more
Annie
For my Around the World challenge (Sudan).

Beautifully crafted short stories and novella from a village by the Nile, written by one of Sudan's greatest writers. Through Zein, the toothless but loveable village fool, the scheming but generous elders, and the other quirky villagers we get glimpses of "a world that was fast disappearing."
Matthew White
Strangely enough, the main feature in this publication is the weakest story in the collection. The author writes with a a deftness that is benefited by a correlating short narrative. Stories focussing on mythical, emblematic topics such as the first two in the series are, overall, more effective in that they allow the reader to fill in the blanks dependant on that given reader's imaginative capacity. The author's Hemingwayean style is essentially lost in the main feature, which compensates with ...more
Cicada
Superb! My kind of style of story, with its surrealism and mysticism. Thoroughly enjoyed it, was very strange.
Meghan Fidler
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Wedding of Zein" contains three stories by Tayeb Salih, an Egyptian author whose work was translated from Arabic by Ibrahim Salahi. My favorite of the three stories was the namesake of the book, 'The Wedding of Zein,' but this is probably because it was the longest and thus had more space for character development. The runner up is the first story of the novelette, 'The Doum Tree of Wad Hamid,' leaving the middle narrative 'A Handful of Dates' in last place.

Salih's writing (and the apparen
...more
Madeline
This is a collection of three stories, or maybe two stories and one novella: "The doum tree of Wad Hamid," "A handful of dates," and "The Wedding of Zein." I am of the idiosyncratic opinion that short stories are superior to other literary forms (though I can never love them in the way I love novels), and this kind of collection is probably a good look at why I hold that opinion. I am not sure how much any of them have in common, besides setting, though I did note that they were all fairly posit ...more
Kogiopsis
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the third book for my African Lit class this semester, and by far the most fun - probably because it wasn't dealing directly with racism or post-colonial problems, which is also why I don't feel like I can refer to it as my 'favorite'.

That said: Tayeb Salih does deal with serious issues of cultural shift, particularly in the first and second stories of this collection. I particularly liked 'A Handful of Dates'; it was elegant and powerful in its brevity. 'The Wedding of Zein', the nove
...more
Tasneemali
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it
During reading i was impatient wating for the end, the style of writing was entetaining and reflects the rural culture of sudan....the end wasn't what i expected ...i thought it would be more deep not just stops at the wedding and the celebration but goes far through Elzain's future and his wife and what things might face them as different characters !!
** I like that plots weren't written in their real sequence ...cause the story starts with the rumor of Elzain's wedding and then we get to know
...more
Amir
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading these three stories. Reminded me of some of the writings of Maguib Mahfouz that I had liked. "The Wedding of Zein" is about life in a village near Nile. I think I will read this book again. It was... inspiring!
kasia
Jul 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars really. I loved the "other stories", but The Wedding of Zein didn't do as much for me. Still though, it had a certain beauty, and I suspect that I'll come to appreciate it more as time passes.
Mo3taz
Apr 28, 2016 added it
the book was amazing & i'm so thrilled it was a great journey
Hassan Ibrahim
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story plays in a Northern village in Sudan. Anyone who originates from or has at least been to one of those villages will find parts relatable and amusing, whilst others may raise an eyebrow every now and then. But I think there is something to take away from this for everyone and there are many universal themes:

There is the politics of the village where the group in charge adopts a centrist and diplomatic approach to keep everyone somewhat satisfied although it doesn't necessarily reflect
...more
Andrew Fahey
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a thick aura of magic and nostalgia that permeates this book. I felt entirely at home in the mystical agrarian logic of these stories which are set in (and are themselves) a place that seems almost perpendicular to time. They are real enough to be comfortable and fantastic enough to excite and intrigue. A fine novelist in his finest form.
Kamila
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nyrb
I picked up the author's Season of Migration to the North immediately after reading this book and I am liking it much better. The novella primarily focuses on the characters of the townspeople, and Zein is a memorable character; but it is generally meandering and without plot, which makes it hard for me to follow along.
Shane
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5
I enjoyed the style, it was interesting and symbollical for me but that was too short for me to get more into the story. I will definitely read “Season of Migration to the North” soon.
Ajibola Shodipo
Lacked urgency. Especially the third story.
Mark
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-bookclub
Zein, the village idiot, the jetser, is set to marry. Only the small Upper Nile village erupts in chaos. Zein, who according to legend came out of the womb laughing, not crying, brings the village joy. He was also deformed and ugly and fell in love with every girl he saw. His alliance with Hein, the village holy man, brings about a series of miracles. Part magical realism, part stark documentary of the conditions in Egypt at the time. I was enthralled by this short novel and rooted for Zein the ...more
Kate
Aug 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this small book (two short stories and a novella) right after finishing [[Season of Migration to the North]] by the same author, Tayeb Salih. I definitely liked the first book better than this one. The last story in the book, what I called the novella, was the title story and I found it to be the most interesting but also a somewhat unbelievable one. The story is of a buffoon named Zein, a village idiot, who after falling in love with many of the village's young women (of course) marries ...more
Josh Boardman
When I read Tayeb Salih, I feel like I could read nothing but Islamic literature for the rest of my life. The first two stories in this collection aside, The Wedding of Zein was hilarious and touching, socially aware and dismissive, particular and transcendent. The small village in the Sudan at the bend of the Nile pops from the page with vibrant ululations, and here you're felt with a rosier feeling than after A Season of Migration to the North. Be that for better or worse, it's an enjoyable, q ...more
patrick
May 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alreadyread
This collection of Tayeb Salih's short stories, including the novella "The Wedding of Zein," as well as "Duma Wad Hamid," gives the reader an opportunity to experience life in rural Sudan through the eyes of Salih's protagonists. For a helpful article on "The Wedding of Zein," find Michael Sells' chapter on teaching an "Islamic" novel in the volume "Teaching Islam," edited by Brandon Wheeler and published by the American Academy of Religion.
Dr. Cristina Bettencourt
Rythmic and hypnotic story. Very good.
Nikhil
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poco, african
I had forgotten how much I love Salih's prose. This reads as a slice-of-life series of stories about rural Sudan prior to independence. The stories, particularly the Wedding of Zein, voice a hope for a humanistic vibrant society where the traditional is not lost to the modern, the rural not subsumed by the city. The dream of decolonization, though, has died.
Susan
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
I think Tayeb Salih is a great storyteller, especially after reading Season of Migration to the North. I really enjoyed the first two stories, but the title story was just okay. It dragged on a bit for me.
Rannie

Salih has the ability to immerse the reader so deeply in a story that the culture is seen from the inside, looking out. His parable-like stories illuminate the warm, beating heart of the village while gently contrasting those who live their faith with those who merely teach it.


Salam Almahi
I thought that I was gonna like it, and yes I liked it!

The amazing thing about it is that you can actually live the events and feel it as you read, I personally felt like I attended عرس الزين

Plus, It gives me that feeling of nostalgia :')
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
زوربا السوداتى 1 5 Aug 11, 2015 11:46PM  
NYRB Classics: The Wedding of Zein, by Tayeb Salih 1 14 Oct 30, 2013 10:22PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Distant View of a Minaret and Other Stories
  • ألم خفيف كريشة طائر تتنقل بهدوء من مكان لآخر
  • No Tomorrow
  • الملك هو الملك
  • The Radiance of the King
  • Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself
  • بيت الياسمين
  • عولمة القهر: الولايات المتحدة والعرب والمسلمون قبل وبعد أحداث سبتمبر 2001
  • مالك الحزين
  • Victorine
  • Nights in the Gardens of Brooklyn
  • Jejuri
  • The Stories of J.F. Powers
  • البحث عن وليد مسعود
  • شرف
  • الكتابات الكاملة
  • الوقائع الغريبة في اختفاء سعيد أبي النحس المتشائل
  • البحث عن السادات
See similar books…
1,373 followers
الطيب صالح - أو "عبقري الرواية العربية" كما جرى بعض النقاد على تسميته- أديب عربي من السودان، اسمه الكامل الطيب محمد صالح أحمد. ولد عام (1348 هـ - 1929م) في إقليم مروي شمالي السودان بقرية كَرْمَكوْل بالقرب من قرية دبة الفقراء وهي إحدى قرى قبيلة الركابية التي ينتسب إليها، وتوفي في أحدي مستشفيات العاصمة البريطانية لندن التي أقام فيها في ليلة الأربعاء 18 /فبراير 2009 الموافق 23 صفر 1430 هـ. عاش مطلع ح ...more
“كان الزين يخرج من كل قصة حب كما دخل ، لايبدو عليه تغيير ما . ضحكته هي هي لا تتغير ، و عبثه لا يقل بحال ، و ساقاه لا تكلان عن حمل جسمه إلى اطراف البلد” 13 likes
“رائحة الأرض الان تملأ انفك,فتذكرك برائحة النخيل حين يتهيأ للقاح,الأرض ساكنه مبتلة,ولكنك تحس ان بطنها ينطوي علي سر عظيم,كأنها إمراه عارمة الشهوه تستعد لملاقاة بعلها.الأرض ساكنه ولكن احشاءها تضج بماء دافق,هو ماء الحياه والخصب.الأرض مبتله متوثبه,تتهيا للعطاء.ويطعن شئ حاد أحشاء الأرض.لحظة نشوه وألم وعطاء.وفي المكان الذي طعن في أحشاء الأرض.تتدفق البذور.وكما يضم رحم الانثي الجنين في حنان ودفء وحب,كذلك ينطوي باطن الأرض علي حب القمح والذره واللوبيا.وتتشقق الأرض عن نبات وثمر.” 6 likes
More quotes…