A Look at What’s New in 2012: Arab and Arabic Literature (in English)

I doubt that this list is comprehensive, particularly as concerns “Arab” diaspora literature. Please do post additions below. Also, the list is somewhat mixed & muddled where it concerns US, UK, Australian, and Egyptian release dates. In the first half of 2012, I have 22 titles translated from the Arabic: 12 novels, 6 collections, 2 books of poems, 1 work of creative nonfiction, 1 graphic novel. At least 15 more are slated to come out July – December.

[JANUARY 2012]

Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, by Ahdaf Soueif (Bloomsbury UK) – >>review>>

Brooklyn Heights, Miral al-Tahawy, trans. Samah Selim (AUC Press, US release) >>review forthcoming>>

Gathering of the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry, eds. Patty Paine, Samia Touati, and Jeff Lodge (Ithaca Press) – >>Q&A with editor>>

 Cairo Paris Mebourne, by Maher Abou Elsaoud, trans. Ahmed Fathy (Black Pepper) >>received, reading>>

Poet in Andalucía, by Nathalie Handal (University of Pittsburgh Press) – >>review forthcoming>>

 Always Coca-Cola, Alexandra Chrieteh, trans. Michelle Hartman (Interlink)  >>review>>

Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North, trans. Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone (Penguin Classics) >>review from Quarterly Conversation>>


 The Palm House, Tarek Eltayeb, trans. Kareem James Abu Zaid (American University in Cairo Press >>review>>

 Homecoming Sixty Years of Egyptian Short Stories, ed. and trans. Denys Johnson-Davies (AUC Press >>reveiw forthcoming>>

[MARCH 2012]

Alone, Together, Mishka Mojabber Mourani and Aida Y. Haddad, trans. Mishka Mojabber Mourani and Aida Y. Haddad (Kutub) >>excerpts, review forthcoming>>

[APRIL 2012]

Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, Ghassan Zaqtan, trans. Fady Joudah (Yale University Press) >>awaiting copy>>

 Azazeel, by Youssef Ziedan, trans. Jonathan Wright (Atlantic – UK relesase) >>review forthcoming>>

 As Though She Were Sleeping (April 2012), Elias Khoury, trans. Marilyn Booth (Archipelago, US release) >>review>>

[MAY 2012]

 Of Noble Origins, Sahar Khalifeh, trans. Aida Bamia – (AUC Press) >>review forthcoming>>

 Time of White Horses, by Ibrahim Nasrallah, trans. Nancy Roberts (AUC Press) >>review>>

 Days in the Diaspora: An Egyptian Novel, by Kamal Ruhayyim, trans. Sarah Enany (AUC Press) >>awaiting copy>>

Metro, Magdy al-Shafee, trans. Chip Rossetti (MacMillan) >>awaiting copy>>

 Now That We Have Tasted Hope, ed. Daniel Gumbiner, (Byliner)  >>review forthcoming>>

 Translating Egypt’s Revolution, ed. Samia Mehrez (AUC Press) >>awaiting copy>>

 The House of Jasmine, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid trans. Noha Radwan (Interlink World Fiction) >>awaiting copy>> 

my name on his tongue: poems, Laila Halaby
(Syracuse University Press) >>awaiting copy>>

A Hand Full of Stars, Rafik Schami, trans. Rika Lesser, (Interlink World Fiction) >>awaiting copy>>

Beyond Love, by Hadiya Hussein, trans. Ikram Masmoudi (Syracuse University Press) >>awaiting copy>>

 New Voices from Arabia: The Short Stories–An Anthology from Saudi Arabia, edited by Abdulaziz Al-Sebail and Anthony Calderbank (IB Tauris) >>requesting copy>>
 New Voices from Arabia: The Poetry–An Anthology from Saudi Arabia, edited by Saad Al-Bazei (IB Tauris) >>requesting copy>>

Creating Rachel, by Mustafa Alrawi (Quartet)


 Korak Council, Amir Tag El Sir (Qatar Ministry of Culture) >>awaiting copy>>

Atrium, Hala Alyan (Three Rooms Press) >>June 15 2012>>

[Forthcoming second half of 2012, isa]

 A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution, Samar Yazbek, trans. Max Weiss (Haus)  >>July 2012>>

 The Grub Hunter, Amir Tag El Sir, trans. William Hutchins (Heinemann) >>July 2012>>

 Diesel, by Thani al-Suwaidi, trans. William Hutchins (Antibookclub) >>July 2012>>

Out of It, by Selma Dabbagh (Bloomsbury USA)  >>August 2012; review>>

 A Land Without Jasmine, Wajdi al-Ahdal, trans. William Hutchins (Garnet)  >>August 2012 – UK release>>

Writing Love: A Syrian Novel, by Khalil Sweileh, trans. Alexa Firat (AUC Press) >>Summer 2012>>

 Throwing Sparks, Abdo Khal, trans. Maia Tabet and Michael K. Scott. (BQFP) >>Summer 2012>>

In Praise of Hatred, Khaled Khalifa, trans. Leri Price. (Doubleday UK) >>September 2012>>

 The Lady from Tel Aviv, by Rabai al-Madhoun, trans. Elliott Colla (Telegram Books)

 The Iraqi Christ, Hassan Blasim, trans. Jonathan Wright (Comma Press – UK release; US release 2013)

 Tree of Pearls, Jurji Zaidan, trans. Samah Selim (Syracuse University Press) >>Fall 2012>>

 Selections from The Art of Party-Crashing in Medieval Iraq, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, trans. and illustrated by Emily Selove (Syracuse University Press ) >>Fall 2012>>

 Memory in the Flesh, Ahlem Mostaghanemi, re-trans. Raphael Cohen (BQFP) >>September 2012 >>

 The Arch and the Butterfly, Mohamed Achaari, trans. Aida Bamia, (BQFP) >>October 2012>>

 Traces, Gamal Ghitany, trans. Nader Uthman, (BQFP) >>November 2012>>

 The Pirate, Abdul Aziz Al Mahmoud, trans. Amira Noweira (BQFP) >>December 2012>>



  1. A wonderful list! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Here’s an addition for the Arab diaspora part: poet Hala Alyan’s (I think) debut collection from Three Rooms Press


    I happen to have gotten intrigued in Hala’s poetry because I met her at work and afterward realized she was a friend of a friend (the world is shrinking! In all the right ways) but there is also some high praise in there from Naimi Shihab Nye, among others. A few of her poems come up if you google her name – I like those but I’m still curious about the whole collection.


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  5. Thanks for the list. I’m so busy these days I can’t even keep track any more. I didn’t even know a new book by Ghitani had come out. At least today I finally got a hold of Metro.


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