New Library-recommendation Project: 10 from Youssef Rakha

Our sixth list of 10 for public libraries comes from genre-confusing, language-crossing, and word-bending author Youssef Rakha, who runs his own literary hotel at yrakha.com:

For these lists-of-ten, ArabLit is asking scholars, critics, authors, 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.

Born, raised and based in Cairo, Youssef Rakha is a novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, journalist, photographer. He’s been at the bleeding edge of contemporary Arabic writing since 2005 but, more recently, he has turned to English, his other “native” tongue. Two of his novels — Book of the Sultan’s Seal (Paul Starkey) and Crocodiles (Robin Moger) — are available in English translation.

Rakha’s ten:

Ibn Battuta’s The Travels of Ibn Battuta,translated by Samuel Lee

Hassan Blasim’s The Madman of Freedom Square, translated by Jonathan Wright

Mohamed Choukri’s For Bread Alone, translated by Paul Bowles

Emile Habibi’s The Secret Life of Said the Pessoptimist, translated by Trevor Le Gassick and Salma Khadra Jayyusi

Tawfik Al-Hakim’s Diary of a Country Prosecutor, translated by Neil Hewison

Ibn Hazm’s The Ring of the Dove, translated by A.J. Arberry

Bensalem Himmich’s The Theocrat, translated by Roger Allen

Ibrahim Al-Koni’s Gold Dust, translated by Elliott Colla

Yasser Abdellatif’s The Law of Inheritance, translated by Robin Moger

Youssef Al-Shirbini’s Brains Confounded, translated by Humphrey Davies

The previous lists:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s