Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 21-30

This is where you’ll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here’s 11-20. Please continue to help me out with errors and omissions.

21 The Epidemic, by Syrian author Hani al-Raheb,  was excerpted in Banipal 9, translated by Bassam K Frangieh. I can find none of al-Rehab’s fiction outside this excerpt. However, I did see that The Zionist Character in the English Novel was translated into English and published by Third World Books. It’s out of print.

22 The Forbidden, by Egyptian author Yusuf Idris. Finally, my dear Yusuf appears! Al-Haraam has not been translated, but these have: The Cheapest Nights and Other Stories, The Sinners, Rings of Burnished Brass, City of Love and Ashes. There’s also The Essential Yusuf Idris, which I recommend while not being in love (or even in like) with the translations.

23 The Night of Ten Years, by Tunisian author Muhammad Salih al-Jabri. I find nothing by Muhammad Salih al-Jabri in English. Zip.

24 Season of Migration to the North, by the well-known Sudanese author Tayeb Salih. Available in many editions; here from NYRB classics, translated by Denys Johnson-Davies.

25 Memory in the Flesh, by the Algerian writer Ahlam Mosteghanemi, was published by AUC press in 2003.  The book was translated by Baria Ahmar and revised by Peter Clark.  Mosteghanemi also reportedly just signed on with Bloomsbury-Qatar as one of their new authors.

26 For Bread Alone, by controversial Moroccan author Mohamed Choukri, was translated by Paul Bowles and is available from Telegram Books.

27 تشريفة آل المر  by Syrian author Abdul-Karim Nassif. Nothing. Not a whiff of Abdul-Karim Nassif in English, nor Abdel-Karim Nassef, nor Abdelkarim Nasf, nor any other variation I could dream up.

28 دار المتعة  / Dar el Mit3a, by Syrian writer Walid Ikhlassi. I couldn’t find any mention of Dar el Mit3a, but University of Texas Press has published Iklhassi’s What Ever Happened to Antara . Also, Iklhassi’s play “The Path” is in the collection Modern Arabic Drama, edited by Salma Khadra Jayysusi and Roger Allen. It’s available from Indiana University Press. Ikhlass also has two short stories in Modern Arabic Fiction: An Anthology, edited by Jayyusi. More about Ikhlassi here.

29 Death in Beirut, by Lebanese author Tawfiq Yousef Awad, was translated Leslie McLoughlin and published by  Three Continents Press.

30 The Elephants is a novel by one of my favorite authors, the Egyptian Fathi Ghanem (1923?-1999). The Elephants is not available in English (for shame!); however, you can find The Man Who Lost His Shadow, translated by Desmond Stewart and published by AUC Press.

A short quote from Ghanem about The Elephants:  “Jean Cocteau’s The Return of Orpheus—a film about an attempt to return from the other world—in all probability influenced the making of my novel The Elephants. It is difficult, however, to be absolutely sure of anything in this illogical world of ours.” From Arab World Books.

Soon, 31-40. Tomorrow? Insha’allah.

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