Our third list of 10 for public libraries is from Amanda Hannoosh Steinberg — Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Art & Architecture at Harvard University — is also a scholar focused on women in medieval Arabic popular literature:
For these lists-of-ten, ArabLit is interviewing scholars, critics, and translators, and other bibliocentrics about the Arabic Literature in translation they would recommend for US’s public libraries. Eventually, this will build to a list of 100 book-buying recommendations. Having searched a number of public-library systems, we’ve decided there is no particular need to recommend Arabic’s only Nobel literature laureate Naguib Mahfouz. Anything else is fair game.
Steinberg’s recommendations, she says, are a mixture of personal favorites and “things that I think general audiences tend to find surprising coming from Arabic.”
1. Accounts of China and India by
2. Mission to the Volga, by
3. A Hundred and One Nights, translated by Bruce Fudge
4. Consorts of the Caliphs, by Ibn al-Sa’i, translated by Shawkat M. Toorawa and the editors of the Library of Arabic Literature
5. :The Adventures of Sayf Ben Dhi Yazan: An Arab Folk Epic, edited and translated by Lena Jayyusi
6. Iraq + 100: The First Anthology of Science Fiction to Have Emerged from Iraq, ed. Hassan Blasim
7. Classical Poems by Arab Women, ed. Abdullah al-Udhari
8. Arabian Nights, edited by Muhsin Mahdi and translated by Husain Haddawy
9. On Entering the Sea: The Erotic and Other Poetry of Nizar Qabbani, ed. and tr. Lena Jayyusi
10. Arabian Love Poems, by Nizar Qabbani, translated by
Steinberg added that she wanted to add a collection of poetry by Badr Shakir al-Sayyab but that, surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be one in English translation.
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