Our third list of 10 for public libraries — thankfully poetry-heavy — comes from celebrated poet-translator Marilyn Hacker:
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.
Hacker is the author of numerous collections of poetry and of translated poetry, most recently, Blazons, Carcanet Press (2019). Examples of her translation can be found at MPT.
1. Saadallah Wannous’s Sentence to Hope: A Sa’dallah Wannous Reader, ed. and trans. Robert Meyers and Nada Saab
2. Hanan al-Shaykh’s The Locust and the Bird, trans. Roger Allen
3. Iman Mersal’s How to Mend: Motherhood and its Ghosts, trans. Robin Moger
4. Mahmoud Darwish’s The Butterfly’s Burden, trans. Fady Joudah
5. Sargon Boulus’s Knife Sharpener, trans. the author
6. Saadi Youssef’s Nostalgia, My Enemy, trans. Sinan Antoon and Peter Money
7. Iman Mersal, These Are Not Oranges, My Love, trans. Khaled Mattawa
8. Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer, trans. the author
9. Ghassan Zaqtan’s Like A Straw Bird It Follows Me, trans. Fady Joudah
10. Golan Haji’s A Tree Whose Name I Don’t Know, trans. Stephen Watts and Golan Haji