In less than a month, the Library of Arabic Literature (LAL) will launch its first four English-only paperback volumes, making these translated works available to a wider patch of the reading public:

The launch is set for the Center for Fiction on October 8, where LAL General Editor¬†Philip Kennedy¬†and author¬†and professor¬†Dame¬†Marina Warner¬†will moderate a conversation with celebrated novelists¬†Amitav Ghosh,¬†Elias Khoury, and¬†Sinan Antoon¬†about “the richness of the Arabic literary heritage, the thriving contemporary Arabic literary scene, the challenges of translating Arabic literature for contemporary English-language readers,”¬†as well as¬†the contributions of LAL.

The initial list of four English-only paperbacks, which will be available for sale at the event, is:¬†Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq‚Äôs¬†Leg Over Leg: Volumes One and Two¬†and¬†Volumes Three and Four, translated by Humphrey Davies;¬†al-Shafi‚Äėi‚Äôs¬†The Epistle on Legal Theory, translated by Joseph E. Lowry; and¬†Ma‚Äėmar ibn Rashid‚Äôs¬†The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad, translated by Sean W. Anthony.

The first volume of Shidyaq’s¬†Leg Over Leg was shortlisted for a Best Translated Book Award,¬†with prize judge M.A. Orthofer calling it ‚Äúthe most important literary publication of a translation into English, in terms of literary history and our understanding of it, in years.‚Ä̬†You can also read¬†an excerpt in¬†The White Review.

You can also read an interview with translator-editor Joe Lowry on The Epistle on Legal Theory and one with Sean W. Anthony on The Expeditions. 

Those who’re interested in attending should¬†RSVP¬†here.¬†You can also find all the paperback covers, and more details about the launch event,¬†at the LAL website.

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