Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 11-20

You can find 1-10 here.

11. The Animists, by Libyan author Ibrahim al-Koni, translated by Elliot Colla. Available June 2012.

I had thought The Animists was supposed to be out this year, but when I looked to make sure, the IPM/AUC website had been modified: It’s now set to roll out June 2012. But, in poking around, I also discovered that William Hutchins has a translation of al-Koni’s The Puppet that’s supposed to be out this fall from University of Texas Press.

12. Tattoo, by Iraqi author Abdul Rahman Majeed al-Rubaie

It looks like Tattoo was translated by Shakir Mustafa and excerpted in Banipal 17, but then I don’t see that the full novel was ever translated and/or published. Note to self: Ask Mustafa what happened to this.

13. The Long Way Back, by Iraqi author Fouad Al-Takarli, AUC Press, 2007, translated Catherine Cobham.

14. The Sail and the Storm, by Syrian author Hanna Mina (sometimes Hanna Minah).

I did not find The Sail and the Storm in English, although Mina’s Sun on a Cloudy Day was translated by Bassam K. Frangieh. And Fragments of Memory: A Story of a Syrian Family was translated by Olive E. Kenny and Lorne Kenny and published by Interlink in 2004.

15. Zayni Barakat, by the Egyptian author Gamal al-Ghitani, is avaible in numerous editions, including Penguin (non-classics), 1990. Translated by Farouk Abdel Wahab Mustafa.

16: The trilogy by Libyan author Ahmad Ibrahim al-Faqih, which consists of: I Shall Present You With Another City, These Are The Borders of My Kingdom and A Tunnel Lit by A Woman.

Margaret Obank tells us that his Trilogy Gardens of the Night was published by Quartet in 1995, and you can find out more about it on his Banipal bio page. More from Margaret in the comments below.

You can find other work by al-Faqih on Amazon.com.

17. I Live, by Lebanese author Leila Baalbaki.

I can’t find any reference to an English translation of Baalbaki. However, this book was apparently an inspiration to popular Lebanese author Hanan al-Shaykh.

18. No One Sleeps in Alexandria, by Egyptian author Ibrahim Abdel Meguid. AUC Press, 2007, translated by Farouk Abdel Wahab Mustafa.

19. Love in Exile, by Egyptian author Bahaa Taher, AUC Press, 2001, translated (again) by Farouk Abdel Wahab Mustafa. I would have chosen Taher’s Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery, but this is not my list.

20. The Cycles of the East, by the Syrian novelist Nabil Suleiman.

I did discover that Nabil Suleiman was wounded in a violent attack on his person in 2001. But nothing about his fiction being translated into English.

Tomorrow, insha’allah, 21-30. And please, I welcome corrections.

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6 comments

    • Ah, thank you, Margaret! I don’t know why I couldn’t find that. I wouldn’t make much of a librarian, I’m afraid.

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