Sinan Antoon responded to my book request just after I’d posted the list for Take the Arabic Lit Summer Reading Challenge, and Win. If you don’t know who Antoon is, for goodness sakes! His I’jaam was one of Katrina Weber’s choices.

He said, “So here are my five. But it could’ve been fifty of course:

  1. Mahmoud Darwish, Fi Hadrat al-Ghiyab ( In the Presence of Absence) (or Memory for Forgetfulness)
  2. Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt
  3. Sonallah Ibrahim, The Committee
  4. Elias Khoury, The Kingdom of Strangers
  5. Hanan al-Shaykh, The Story of Zahra

Elias Muhanna, a PhD student in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations at Harvard University, a writer, and the maintainer of Qifa Nabki, also got back to me “better late than never.”

  1. Al-Jahiz, The Book of Misers
  2. The Mu`allaqaat in the Arberry translation
  3. Night, Horses, and the Desert (not a single work, but an excellent anthology of classical Arabic literature by Robert Irwin)
  4. Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddima, in the Rosenthal translation
  5. The Poems of al-Mutanabbi, also in the Arberry translation

And I finally got a file from Cairo book-shop/literary center proprietor Karam Youssef that my computer could understand. And Karam didn’t just choose 50…but 59!

Before you peruse Karam’s list, hop over to the reading challenge and enter your choice.

Item ISBN Title Author Author – Arabic
1 9774247876 A Certain Woman Hala Al Badry هالة
البدري
2 9789774163012 A Dog with no Tail Hamdy Abou Golaiel حمدي ابو
جليل
3 9774249631 Absent Betool Khoudiri بتول

خضيري

4 977424530X Adrift On The Nile Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
5 9789774162091 As Doha Said Baha Taher بهاء
طاهر
6 977424107X Autum Quail Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
7 9774160045 Being Abas El Abd Ahmed Al Ayedy احمد
العايدي
8 9774248864 Birds Of Amber Ibrahim Abdel Meguied ابراهيم
عبد المجيد
9 9789774161049 Black Magic Hamdy Al Gazzar حمدي

الجزار

10 9774249682 Blue Aubergine Miral El Tahawy ميرال
الطحاوي
11 9774161568 Cairo Modern Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
12 9789774246883 Cairo Trilogy Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
13 9774246705 Chaos Of The Senses Ahlam Moustaghanmi احلام
مستغانمي
14 9789774246791 Children Of The Alley Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
15 9774246993 City Of Love & Ashes Youssif Edris يوسف
ادريس
16 977424852X Clamor Of The Lake Mohamed Al Bisati محمد
البساطي
17 9774247167 Committee Sonallah Ibrahim صنع الله
ابراهيم
18 9774244168 Damascus Nights Rafiq Shamia رفيق
شامية
19 9774160673 Dreams of Departure Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
20 9789774162275 Gazelle Tracks Miral El Tahawy ميرال
الطحاوي
21 9774162305 Granada Radwa Ashour رضوي

عاشور

22 9774249291 Heron Ibrahim Aslan ابراهيم
اصلان
23 9774247558 I Saw Ramallah Mourid Barghouti مريد
البرغوثي
24 977416072X KARNAK CAFE Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
25 9774161909 Khan Al Khalili Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
26 9774249704 Lamp Of Umm Hashim Yahia Haqy يحي حقي
27 9774247272 Leaves Of Narcissus Somaya Ramadan سمية

رمضان

28 9789774162947 Life Is More
Beautiful Than Paradise
Khalid Al Berry خالد
البري
29 977424902X Love
In Exile
Baha Taher بهاء
طاهر
30 9774243471 Man Who Lost His Shadow Fathy Ghanem فتحي
غانم
31 9789774160561 Maryam`s Maze Mansoura Ezz Al Din منصورة
عز الدين
32 9789774240584 Midaq Alley Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
33 9789774240911 Miramar Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
34 9774245601 Mirrors Naguib Mahfouz نجيب

محفوظ

35 9789774161896 Moon over Samarqand Mohamed Al Manssy
Qandiel
محمد
المنسي
قنديل
36 977424267X Mountain of Green Tea
and Other Stories
Yahia Al Taher
Abdallah
يحي
الطاهر
عبدالله
37 9774248287 Nile Sparrows Ibrahim Aslan ابراهيم
اصلان
38 9774249615 No One Sleeps in
Alexandria
Ibrahim Abdel Meguied ابراهيم
عبد المجيد
39 9774246985 Open
Door
Latifa Al Zayat لطيفة
الزيات
40 9774249585 Other Place Ibrahim Abdel Meguied ابراهيم

عبد المجيد

41 9774241126 The Beginning &
The End
Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
42 9789774162725 The Butterfly’s
Burden
Mahmoud Darwish محمود
درويش
43 9774246357 The
Days
Taha Hussein طه حسين
44 9789774162428 The Essential Yusuf
Idris
Yusuf Idris يوسف
ادريس
45 9774246802 The
Harafish
Naguib Mahfouz نجيب

محفوظ

46 9789774162657 The Mirage Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
47 9789774163586 The Scents Of Marie
Claire
Habib Salmi حبيب
سلمي
48 9774161070 The Smiles Of The
Saints
Ibrahim Farghaly ابراهيم
فرغلي
49 9789774161902 The Zafarani Files Gamal Al Ghitany جمال
الغيطاني
50 9774240340 Thief and the dogs Naguib Mahfouz نجيب
محفوظ
51 9789774160714 Thieves In Retirement Hamdy Abou Golaiel حمدي ابو

جليل

52 9774160061 Wedding Night Yusuf Abou Rayah يوسف ابو
ريه
53 9789774245596 Whatever Happened To
Egyptians?
Galal Amin جلال
امين
54 9774160493 Wolves of the
Crescent Moon
Youssef Al Mohameed يوسف
المحميد
55 9774248988 Woman Of The Flask Selim Matar سليم مطر
56 9774248627 Yacoubian Building Alaa Al Aswany علاء
الاسواني
57 9774248449 Zaat Sonallah Ibrahim صنع الله
ابراهيم
58 9789774248726 Zayni Barakat Gamal Al Ghitany جمال

الغيطاني

59 1557287430 Angry Voices poetry – Egyptian
Poetry
شعراء
مصريون – جيل
التسعينيات