The 40+ Modern Arabic Literary Works Published in English Translation in 2014

This is the beginnings of a list of the Arabic literary works published in English translation in 2014. Please add what’s slipped my mind below:

Novels (31)

Arch-and-the-Butterfly-Temple Bar, by Bahaa Abdelmeguid, trans. Jonathan Wright (AUC Press)

The Arch and the Butterfly, Mohammed Achaari, trans. Aida Bamia (BQFP) (Review)

The Maze of the Last One: A novel about the last Jewish family in Iraq, by Mohammad al-Ahmed, trans. Christopher Marrs (Dar Safi)

Blue Lorries, Radwa Ashour, trans. Barbara Romaine (BQFP)

The Woman from Tantoura, Radwa Ashour, trans. Kay Heikkinen (AUC Press)

Rain over Baghdad, by Hala El Badry, trans. Farouk Abdel Wahab (AUC Press)

The Corpse Exhibition, Hassan Blasim, trans. Jonathan Wright. (Penguin) (Interview)

Chewing Gum, by Mansour Bushnaf (Darf Publishers)

Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep?, by Rashid al-Daif, trans. Paula Haydar (University of Texas Press)

june_rainPenguin’s Song, Hassan Daoud, trans. Marilyn Booth (City Lights) (Review)

June Rain, Jabbour Douaihy, trans. Paula Haydar (BQFP) (Review)

Other Lives, Iman Humaydan, trans. Michelle Hartman (Interlink) (Review)

In the Depths of Hell: A Documentary Novel About a Survivor of Chemical Warfare in Iraq, by Salam Ibrahim, trans. Anis Farhat and Christopher Marrs (Dar Safi)

Beirut, Beirut, Sonallah Ibrahim, trans. Chip Rossetti (BQFP)

African Titanics, by Abu Bakr Hamid Kahal, trans. Charis Bredin (Darf Publishers)

House of the Wolf, by Ezzat al-Kamhawi, trans. Nancy Roberts (AUC Press) (Review)

Anubis, Ibrahim al-Koni, trans. William Hutchins (AUC Press)

downloadThe New Oasis, Ibrahim al-Koni, trans. William Hutchins (AUC Press) and New Waw, Saharan Oasis, by Ibrahim al-Koni, trans. William Hutchins (University of Texas Press)

Where Pigeons Don’t Fly, Youssef al-Mohaimeed, trans. Robin Moger (BQFP)

Gertrude, Hassan Najmi, trans. Roger Allen (Interlink) (Review)

The Lanterns of the King of Galilee: A Novel of 18th-Century Palestine, by Ibrahim Nasrallah, trans Nancy Roberts (AUC Press)

Land of No Rain, Amjad Nasser, trans. Jonathan Wright (BQFP) (Review)

Revolution Is My Name, by Mona Prince, trans. Samia Mehrez (AUC Press)

Crocodiles, Youssef Rakha, trans. Robin Moger (Seven Stories Press)

datesonmyfingersDates on My Fingers, Muhsin al-Ramli, trans. Luke Leafgren (AUC Press) (Review)

Diary of a Jewish Muslim, Kamal Ruyahhim, trans. Sarah Enany (AUC Press) (Review) 

Butterfly Wings, Mohamed Salmawy, trans. Raphael Cohen (AUC Press)

Leg Over Leg Vol 3, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, trans. Humphrey Davies (NYU Press)* (Interview)

Leg Over Leg Vol 4, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, trans. Humphrey Davies (NYU Press)*

French Perfume, Amir Tag El Sir, trans. William Hutchins (ANTIBOOKCLUB)

Women of Karantina, by Nael Eltoukhy, trans. Robin Moger (AUC Press) (Interview)

Collections (3)

Gaza cover artwork_HR (2) copySyria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, ed. Mahu Halasa, Zaher Omareen, and Nawara Mahfoud (Saqi Press) (Interview)

The Book of Gaza, ed. Atef Abu Saif (Review)

Monarch of the Square An Anthology of Muhammad Zafzaf’s Short Stories, trans. Mbarek Sryfi and Roger Allen (Syracuse University Press) (Interview)

Nonfiction (1)

The Revolt of the Young: Essays by Tawfiq al-Hakim, trans. Mona Radwan (Syracuse University Press)

Poetry, Single Author (6)

chroniclesNothing More to Lose, Najwan Darwish, ed. and trans. Kareem James Abu-Zeid (NYRB). (Interview, review)

Salah Faik: Selected Poems, ed. and trans. Haider al-Kabi (Dar Safi)

It Took Place in this House, Amal Gamal, trans. Faiza Sultan (Dar Safi)

Chronicles of Majnun Layla and Selected Poems, Qassim Haddad, trans. John Verlenden and Ferial Ghazoul (Syracuse University Press). (Review)

Iraqi Nights, Dunya Mikhail, trans. Kareem James Abu-Zeid (New Directions)

Petra, Amjad Nasser, trans. Fady Joudah (Tavern Books).

Poetry Anthologies (4)

A_bird_is_not_a_stone_270.270A Bird Is Not a Stone, ed. Henry Bell and Sarah Irving (Freight Books) (Review)

This Room is Waiting, ed. Lauren Pyott and Ryan Van Winkle (Freight Books) (Interview)

The Tahrir of Poems: Seven Contemporary Egyptian Poets, ed. and trans. Maged Zaher (Alice Blue Books)

Arabic Poems, ed. Marle Hammond (Everyman’s Library)

And a Favorite Classical Translation of the Year

Two Arabic Travel Books: Accounts of China and India and Mission to the Volga, ed. and trans. by Tim Mackintosh-Smith, by Abu Zayd al-Sirafi, ed. and trans. by James Montgomery, by Ahmad Ibn Fadlan (NYU Press)

*May not be strictly modern, but it feels so.


  1. What a great resource, thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Very welcome — I hope others can fill in any gaps.

  2. Maps of the Soul by Ahmed Fagih is a great one too. I don’t know if it counts as ‘modern’, but it was translated into English this year.

    1. I thought it was a reprint, which is why I didn’t list it. But I’m mistaken?

  3. Great list! The al-Koni looks interesting, but it’s a pity that his big novel The Animists, which was supposed to be published by American University in Cairo Press, hasn’t still been released, and, there isn’t any information about the possible publication date.

    1. Yes, I thought Elliott was translating… Hmm.

  4. When I saw only one from Interlink, I thought that they must have done more, so I checked.

    I found three more novels: Oh, Salaam! by Najwa Barakat; translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren; The Book of the Sultan’s Seal, Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars by Youssef Rakha; translated by Paul Starkey; and Other Lives, by Iman Humaydan; translated by Michelle Hartman.

    And while I’m at it, I should probably plug the special issue of my magazine, The Massachusetts Review, on “Mediterraneans” ( Lots of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction translated from Arabic there too!

    1. Oh Salaam & Book of the Sultan’s Seal won’t be out until early next year. I have Other Lives and a review for it. You can rest assured I wouldn’t forget Interlink! And indeed, I linked folks to the Mass Review issue yesterday…

      1. Should’ve known you were way ahead of me! Thanks, on all counts…

        1. Well, they were initially scheduled for the end of 2014, but I think they’ll have more impact at the front of the year. So good decision on Interlink’s part.

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