Zu al-Nun, Ayub

Zu al-Nun, Ayub


Born 1908 in Mosul. Iraqi-Arab writer and publicist; one of the first writers in Iraq to employ the novella as a genre. Son of a tradesman.

Zu al-Nun began publishing his works in 1933. He is the author of the collections of realistic short stories My Friend (1937) and The Tower of Babylon (1939); the novels Doctor Ibrahim (1940), Hand, ‘land, Water (1948), and Forgotten Names (1959); many sociopolitical articles; and works dealing with problems in literature and art. During 1939–46 he published the journal al-Majalla, which played an important role in the development of the Arab novella. His works are characterized by plot simplicity, precision, and aphoristic language combined with the tendency, inherent in Arab prose, toward edification. The artistic personality of the writer, who depicted the life of the “little man,” was influenced by A. P. Chekhov, M. Gorky, and the outstanding Egyptian writers M. Taymur and T. Husayn. He translated N. V. Gogol, F. M. Dostoevsky, I. S. Turgenev, and Gorky into Arabic.


al-Muallafat al-kamila. Baghdad, 1954.
al-Muallafat al-kamila, vol. 1. Baghdad, 1960.
In Russian translation:
Delo Madzhida Rakhima. Moscow, 1960. Rasskazy irakskikh pisatelei. Moscow, 1961.