Coming in August: Historical Fiction from Egypt and Libya & an Iraqi Memoir

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

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The Turban and the Hat, by Sonallah Ibrahim, tr. Bruce Fudge (Seagull Books)

From the publisher: “The Napoleonic-era French invasion and occupation of Egypt are often seen as the Arab world’s first encounter with the military and technological prowess of the West—and it came as a terrible shock. The Turban and the Hat tells the story of those three tumultuous years from the perspective of a young Egyptian living in late-eighteenth-century Cairo. Knowing some French, he works as a translator for the occupiers. He meets their scientists and artists, has an affair with Bonaparte’s mistress, and accompanies the disastrous campaign to take Syria, where he witnesses the ravages of the plague and the horrific barbarism of war. He is astonished by the invaders’ lies and propaganda, but he finds that much of what he thought he knew about his fellow Egyptians was also an illusion.”

A review by Hassan Khan at Bidoun.

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The Night Will Have Its Say, by Ibrahim al-Koni, tr. Nancy Roberts (Hoopoe)

From the publisher: “The year is 693 and a tense exchange, mediated by an interpreter, takes place between Berber warrior queen al-Kahina and an emissary from the Umayyad General Hassan Ibn Numan. Her predecessor had been captured and killed by the Umayyad forces some years earlier, but she will go on to defeat Ibn Numan’s forces.”

Read an extract of this novel here.

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War and Me, by Faleeha Hassan, tr. William Hutchins (Amazon Crossing)

About this book: “Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. Now, in a deeply personal account of her life, she remembers those she has loved and lost. As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go off to fight, and when she needed to reach them, she broke all the rules by traveling alone to the war’s front lines―just one of many shocking and moving examples of her resilient spirit. Later, after building a life in the US, she realizes that she will coexist with war for most of the years of her life and chooses to focus on education for herself and her children. In a world on fire, she finds courage, compassion, and a voice.”

Leonie Rau

One thought on “Coming in August: Historical Fiction from Egypt and Libya & an Iraqi Memoir

  1. Would it it be possible to tell me where and how, I could get hold of the Arabic copy of Ibrahim al-Koni, “The Night Will Have Its Say”

    My search sends me to the English copy available on Amazone. ?? But I want the Arabic one. Thank you. ZM

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