And Now, for Something Completely Different

Words Without Borders is featuring international science fiction this December.

Unfortunately, there are no offerings from the Arabic (I would love to read a narrative about 22nd century Cairo), but there is an interesting, readable excerpt from the 19th century Urdu fantasy epic, Tilism-e-Hoshruba.

It’s by Musharraf Ali Farooqi, and is billed by the translator as the world’s first magical fantasy epic. Mostly interesting from an intellectual/historical standpoint, but some of the descriptions are also quite rich.

The whole book is available here.