ArabLit’s Top 11 Reads of 2018

These are ArabLit’s most popular posts of 2018, minus the listicles and promotional hype about the ArabLit Story Prize and ArabLit Quarterly:

1. Reclaiming the Women of Arabic Popular Epics. 

Amanda Hannoosh Steinberg looks at the women who seem to have disappeared in scholarship about the Arabic popular epics.

2. Teaching with Arabic Literature in Translation: ‘Women’s Writing in the Arab World’.

The first piece in a series on teaching with Arabic literature in translation. There were a number of others that would have made the top ten (‘Palestinian Literature and Film’ and ‘Arab Women Memoirs, Writing Feminist History,’ and Tarjamat, for instance) but I’ve folded them all in here.

3. Amazon’s Kindle Now Supports Arabic. 

A short news item from June.

4. ‘Literary Massacre in Kuwait’: The State of Book Banning.

A short history of book-banning in Kuwait by graduate student Abrar Alshammari. Book Banning in Kuwait: How, Why, & What Comes Nexta reflection on book-banning in Kuwait by novelist Layla AlAmmar, was also one of the top ten.

5. For Valentine’s Day: The Many Loves of Nizar Qabbani.

For Valentine’s Day 2018, we had two new translations of love poems by Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani by Rachel Schine.

6. Ibrahim Nasrallah’s ‘The Second War of the Dog’ Wins 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

A short news item from April.

7. Excerpt in Translation: ‘Saddam and Me and the Stockholm Syndrome’. 

Ali Shakir’s third book —Saddam and Me and the Stockholm Syndrome— was published in January 2018.

8. 14th-Century Cookbook ‘Profoundly Rich Resource for Egyptian Culinary Heritage’ 

A conversation with Nawal Nasrallah about her award-winning translation of the fourteenth-century Egyptian cookbook Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table (2018).

9. Six Classical Libraries: Challenges in Editing, Translation, and Beyond

From an event in September.

10. Safia Ketou: The First Algerian Sci-fi Novelist of Post-independence Algeria.

ArabLit’s Algeria editor, Nadia Ghanem, writes about one of her favorite discoveries, Safia Ketou, and translates her “The Mauve Planet” into English.

11. ‘Black’: A Short Memoir by Hoda Salem. 

Egyptian law student Hoda Salem reflects on being black in Egypt in a short memoir written during a workshop run by the Egyptian feminist collective Ikhtiyar, translated by Rahma Bavelaar.

One comment

  1. Thanks, for the 365th time, for this end-of-the-year look at the state of Arabic culture in English translation. Your blog has been a unique resource of quality and variety. May you and your blog grace the years to come, day in and day out, when possible! (With occasional vacations! Nothing wrong in some break once in a while!)

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