The Visitor (short story)

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"The Visitor" is a short story by British writer Roald Dahl, first published in the May 1965 issue of Playboy.[1] It was included in the 1974 collection Switch Bitch, centered on the fictional Uncle Oswald and the lurid adventures he describes in his elaborate diaries. In this story, set in 1946, Oswald has amorous designs on his Syrian host's wife and teenage daughter, with unfortunate and unexpected consequences.

Norton H. Moses states that Dahl's story was expanded from an anecdote found in George "Dod" Orsborne's Master of the Girl Pat, published in 1949.[1][2]

In his later years, Alfred Hitchcock occasionally told this story as a black joke during his appearances on American talk shows, most notably during an appearance on The Tomorrow Show[3] on 29 May 1973.[4]

Akhbar's Daughter, a 1987 television pilot[5] associated with Tales from the Darkside,[6] bears many similarities to the Dahl and Orsborne stories.


Oswald becomes stranded for a night near Cairo at the mansion of a wealthy businessman, Abdul Aziz, whose wife and daughter are both very beautiful. Oswald plots to seduce either the wife or daughter, and believes he has succeeded after a romantic bedroom encounter, entirely in the dark. Oswald leaves the house none the wiser as to which of the two women he has slept with. The story ends with a dark twist as Mr. Aziz reveals to Oswald that he has a second daughter who lives in seclusion in another part of the house – because she has incurable leprosy.

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  1. ^ a b Moses, Norton H. (1999). "The Source of Roald Dahl's "The Visitor"". ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews. 12 (2): 34–36. doi:10.1080/08957699909598055. 
  2. ^ Orsborne, George "Dod" (1949). Master of the Girl Pat. New York: Doubleday. pp. 58–60. 
  3. ^ "The Tomorrow Show (hosted by Tom Snyder)". YouTube. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Skerry, Philip J. (2013). Dark Energy: Hitchcock's Absolute Camera and the Physics of Cinematic Spacetime. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781623568696. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Night Rose: Akhbar's Daughter (1987)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Bell, Robert (11 November 2010). "Tales from the Darkside: The Final Season". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 

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