An Overview of 2021 Releases: 30+ Arabic Books in English Translation

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January 2021

A Bed for the King’s Daughterby Shahla Ujayli, tr. Sawad Hussain (University of Texas Press)

February 2021

My Heart Became a Bomb, by Ramy al-Asheq, tr. Levi Thompson (University of Texas Press)

Exhausted on the Crossby Najwan Darwish, tr. Kareem James Abu-Zeid and with a foreword by Raul Zurita (NYRB Poets)

The Book of Ramallah, ed. by Maya Abu al-Hayat (Comma Press)

UK: Voices of the Lostby Hoda Barakat, tr. Marilyn Booth (OneWorld)

March 2021

US: Voices of the Lostby Hoda Barakat, tr. Marilyn Booth (Yale University Press)

My First and Only Love, by Sahar Khalifeh, tr.  Aida Bamia, from Hoopoe Fiction

Except for This Unseen Thread: Selected Poemsby Ra’ad Abdulqadir, tr. Mona Kareem (Ugly Duckling Presser’s)

The Book Smuggler, by Omaima Al-Khamis, tr. Sarah Enany (Hoopoe Fiction)

The Heart of Lebanon, by Ameen Rihani, edited by Ameen Albert Rihani, tr. Roger Allen (Syracuse University Press)

April 2021

A Physician on the Nile: A Description of Egypt and Journal of the Famine Years, by ʿAbd al-Laṭīf al-Baghdādī, ed. and tr. Tim Mackintosh-Smith (Library of Arabic Literature)

The Critical Case of a Man Called K, by Aziz Muhammad, tr. Humphrey Davies (Hoopoe Fiction)

Packaged Lives: 10 Stories and a Novella, by Haifa Zangana, tr. Wen-chin Ouyang (Syracuse University Press)

I’m in Seattle, Where Are You? by Mortada Gzar, tr. William Hutchins (Amazon Crossing)

All the Women Inside Me, by Jana Fawwaz Elhassan, tr. Michelle Hartman (Interlink Books)

The Republic of False Truths, by Alaa al-Aswany, tr. S.R. Fellowes (Penguin Random House)

May 2021

Hot Maroc, by Yassin Adnan, tr. Alex Elinson (Syracuse University Press)

The Lady of Zamalek, by Ashraf El-Ashmawi, tr. Peter Daniel (Hoopoe Fiction)

The Book of Travels, by Hanna Diyab, edited by Johannes Stephan, tr. Elias Muhanna, foreword by by Yasmine Seale, afterword by by Paulo Lemos Horta (Library of Arabic Literature)

Roundabout of Death, by Faysal Khartash, tr. Max Weiss (New Vessel Press)

June 2021

Warda, by Sonallah Ibrahim, tr. Hosam aboul-Ela (Yale University Press)

Slipping, by Mohamed Kheir, tr. Robin Moger (Two Lines Press)

August 2021

The Tale of Princess Fatima, Warrior Woman (provisional title), a newly translated abridgment of the Arabic epic by Melanie Magidow (Penguin Classics)

Other Summer 2021

The Portrait of Abu l-Qasim al-Baghdadi, by al-Azdi, tr. Geert Jan van Gelder and Emily Selove (Gibb)

September 2021

Memoirs of a Militant: My Years in the Khiam Women’s Prison, by Nawal Qasim Baidoun, edited and introduced by Malek Abisaab and Michelle Hartman, tr. Michelle Hartman and Caline Nasrallah (Interlink Books)

 Ever Since I Did Not DieRamy al-Asheq, tr. Isis Nusair (Seagull Books)

Planet of Clay, Samar Yazbek, tr. Leri Price (World Editions)

October 2021

The Drowning, by Hammour Ziada, tr. Paul G. Starkey (Interlink Books)

November 2021

The King of India, by Jabbour Douaihy, tr. Paula Haydar (Interlink Books)

Catalogue of a Private Life, by Najwa Binshatwan, tr. Sawad Hussain (Dedalus Books)

December 2021

Missing Picture, by Asma Al Atawna, translator unnamed (Interlink Books)

Other Fall/Winter 2021

Agitated Air/ Poems After Ibn Arabi, Yasmine Seale & Robin Moger (Tenement Press)

The Tale of the Scorpion that Dripped Sweat, by Akram Musallam, tr. Sawad Hussain (Seagull Books)

Here is a Body, by Basma Abdel Aziz, tr. Jonathan Wright (Hoopoe Fiction)

I Do Not Sleep, by Ihsan Abdel Kouddous, tr. Jonathan Smolin (Hoopoe Fiction)

The Monotonous Chaos of Existence, by Hisham Bustani, tr. maia tabet (Mason Jar Press)

Come Take a Gentle Stab! Selections from Salim Barakat, by Salim Barakat, tr. Huda Fakhreddine & Jayson Iwen (Seagull Books)

The Italian, by Shukri al-Mabkhout, tr. Karen McNeil and Miled Faiza (Europa Editions)

Notable Titles from 2022

The Children of Our Alley: The Story of the Banned Novel, by Mohamed Shoair, tr. Humphrey Davies (AUC Press, tentatively Feb 2022)

The Night Will Have Its Say, by Ibrahim Al Koni (Hoopoe Fiction, Spring 2022)

Eddo’s Souls, by Stella Gaitano, tr. Sawad Hussain (Dedalus Books, 2022)

The Bitter Orange Tree, by Jokha al-Harthi, tr. Marilyn Booth (Scribner UK, May 2022)

Exit: A Novel by Ezzedine C. Fishere, tr. Jonathan Smolin (Hoopoe Fiction, Fall 2022)


  1. We’re aiming for August 2021 for The Tale of Princess Fatima, Warrior Woman (provisional title), a newly translated abridgement of the Arabic epic by Melanie Magidow. In progress and under contract with Penguin Classics.

    1. Ah, of course! I will add just like that.

  2. In March 2021 it would also be published:
    Zabor, or The Psalms: A Novel, by Kamel Daoud, tr. Emma Ramadan (Other Press)

    1. Yes, we unfortunately didn’t do a list for books by Arab writers translated from French to English this year. There are a number of good ones to look forward to, also The Ardent Swarm by Yamen Manai, tr. Lara Vergnaud.

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