Yusuf Idris, also Yusif Idris (Arabic: يوسف إدريس)(May 19, 1927 - August 1, 1991) was an Egyptian writer of plays, short stories, and novels. Idris originally trained to be a doctor, studying at the University of Cairo. He sought to put the foundations of a modern Egyptian theatre based on popular traditions and folklore, his main success in this quest was his most famous work, a play called "Al-Farafeer" depicting two main characters: the Master and the "Farfour" . For some time he was a regular writer in the famous daily newspaper Al-Ahram. It is known that he was nominated several times to win the Nobel prize for literature.
From the English edition of The Cheapest Nights: "While a medical student his work against Farouk’s regime and the British led to his imprisonment and suspension from College. After graduation he worked at Kasr el Eini, the largest government hospital in Egypt. He supported Nasser’s rise to power but became disillusioned in 1954 at the time when his first collection of stories The Cheapest Nights was published . . Yusuf Idris’ stories are powerful and immediate reflections of the experiences of his own rebellious life. His continuing contact with the struggling poor enables him to portray characters sensitively and imaginatively."
Idris won the 1997 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for his novel City of Love and Ashes.
Idris' daughter Nesma Idris is also a published writer.