Arab Novels: Not as Good as the Russians, Latin Americans?

I have heard people say that they don‘t like Arab novels, they‘re sentimental, immature, poorly crafted, have weak character development. Others tell me ‘that wasn’t bad’ or ‘I quite liked that.’ I have rarely found anyone who has raved and raved about an Arab novel or an Arab novel that has reached the heights of the Russians or the Latin Americans.

Reading Alexandria, Egypt

I suppose most people—if speaking of Alexandria-themed literature in English—would point to Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, or perhaps to the renowned Greek-Alexandrian Constantine Cavafy. But the idea of “Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria” is much like “Paul Bowles’ Morocco” and thus—literary merits notwithstanding—is not my core interest.


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