Forthcoming in Translation in April 2022: Classical Mysticism, a Day in the Life of a Tunisian Professor, & More

Book publication dates shift, and thus we are supplementing the annual list of forthcoming literature in translation with monthly lists, which are hopefully more accurate. If you know of other works forthcoming this month, please add them in the comments or email us at info@arablit.org.

The Essence of Reality: A Defense of Philosophical Sufism by ʿAyn al-Quḍāt, edited and translated by Mohammed Rustom (Library of Arabic Literature)

From the publisher: “The Essence of Reality was written over the course of just three days in 514/1120, by a scholar who was just twenty-four. The text, like its author ʿAyn al-Quḍāt, is remarkable for many reasons, not least of which that it is in all likelihood the earliest philosophical exposition of mysticism in the Islamic intellectual tradition.”

Listen to Prof. Rustom speak about ʿAyn al-Quḍāt and Sufi metaphysics on several different podcasts.

Expected release: April 26, 2022.

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Thunderbird: Book Oneby Sonia Nimr. tr. M Lynx Qualey (University of Texas Press)

From the publisher of this novel for young readers, 8+: “The Thunderbird trilogy is a fast-paced time-traveling fantasy adventure centered on Noor, a young orphaned Palestinian girl who starts in the present and must go back in time to get four magical bird feathers and save the world. Aided by a djinn cat and girls who look identical to Noor and who each have one of the bird’s powers, in this initial volume Noor begins her journey through different historical periods, striving to keep the wall between worlds intact.”

Expected release: April 26, 2022.

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Solitaire: A Novelby Hassouna Mosbahi, tr. William Maynard Hutchins

This novel takes readers into one day in the life of Yunus, a Tunisian professor of French and Flaubert specialist, recently retired and separated from his wife. Searching for solitude, Yunus leaves the capital to settle in the Tunisian coastal city of Nabeul, hoping to spend the remainder of his life among the books he loves. Then, on the day of his sixtieth birthday, Yunus plunges into a delayed midlife crisis as he reflects on the major moments in his life, from taking up writing as a young man to his career as a university professor to his failed marriage. Yunus’s identity crisis mirrors that of his Tunisian homeland with its tumultuous history of political and cultural upheaval. He meditates on the lives of his friends, drawing from his memory a colorful cast of characters whose experiences reflect the outsized influence of religion and tradition in their lives. 

Expected release: April 29, 2022.

Leonie Rau