Shakir Mustafa (not, you know, Mustafa Shakir) has finally turned in his reading challenge picks.
Mustafa is the editor and translator of the excellent Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: An Anthology. I found many gems in the collection, but was a particular fan of the first two stories: “The Turtle Grandmother” and “Yusuf’s Tales,” by Muhammad Khodayyir. You can read “Yusuf’s Tales” on Banipal’s website; for the rest, you’ll need to order the collection, which also includes excellent short fiction from the underappreciated Samir Naqqash, as well as from Samuel Shimon and others.
Shakir Mustafa chose:
- Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North
- Naguib Mahfouz, Miramar
- Assia Djebar, Women of Algiers in Their Apartments (written in French, but because women are needed on the list, I’ll allow it)
- Mourid Barghouti, I Saw Ramallah
- Alifa Rifat, Distant View of a Minaret
Note that Alifa Rifaat is not now widely known, but she is one of Chinua Achebe’s favorite North African writers.
To join the reading challenge, just go here and post which one book you’ll read over the summer—in Arabic or in English. And win! Prizes! Lots of them!