The Arab Writers Union’s ‘Top 105’ of the 20th Century

Regular readers have seen this list before. However, as new books have appeared in translation, it's time for an update. Below, you'll find the best hundred (well, really 105) Arabic novels as selected by the Arab Writers Union. The rankings are sometimes puzzling, and one imagines there was a good deal of horse-trading involved, but lists are nevertheless fun.

Update to the List of 105 Best Books in Arabic (and Their Availability in English)

Reader John Alvey generously devoted some time to finding works that I missed from the original list of the Arab Writers Union's "Best 105 Books in Arabic." He also added notations for those translated into other European languages. My additions (generally the authors' names, so you don't have to go back and check against the … Continue reading Update to the List of 105 Best Books in Arabic (and Their Availability in English)

What Did I Learn from The Top 100 (+5) List of the ‘Best Arabic Fiction’?

First off, I've certainly become convinced that lists are odd artifacts, and that lists voted on by a group of nervous, self-interested humans are probably the oddest of all. For those who have not yet experienced the Arab Writers Union's "top 100 novels in Arabic," which is actually a list of 105, here it is: … Continue reading What Did I Learn from The Top 100 (+5) List of the ‘Best Arabic Fiction’?

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 101-105

Now I've got 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100...and so ends this crazy list. The final five: 100 A Man from Bashmour, by the Egyptian author Salwa Bakr. This book has been translated by Nancy Roberts and published by AUC Press. The press has also … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 101-105

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 91-100

So you thought I was finished...but no, no! The Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union) is actually a list of 105. Please make your own jokes, I haven't any today. Thank you. Or, if you prefer, start back at the beginning with 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and 11-20, … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 91-100

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 81-90

This is where you’ll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here’s 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, and 71-80. Please do help me out with errors and omissions. 80 There Is a Man in our House, by the Egyptian novelist Ihsan Abdul Quddus. According to David Waldner, on answers.com: Abd al-Quddus wrote … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 81-90

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 71-80

This is where you’ll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here’s 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, and 61-70. Please do help me out with errors and omissions. 71 Seventh day of Creation by Iraqi writer Abdel Khaliq al-Rikabi Al-Rikabi’s acclaimed novel Sabi’a Ayaam al-Khalq (Seventh Day of Creation) was excerpted in Banipal … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 71-80

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 61-70

This is where you'll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here's 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, and 51-60. Please do help me out with errors and omissions. 61 Seeds of Corruption, by the Egyptian author Sabri Moussa, translated by Mona Mikhail, published by Interlink in 2002. 62 Al Saghamat, by the Egyptian author … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 61-70

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 51-60

This is where you'll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here's 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, and 41-50. Please do help me out with errors and omissions. 51 The Crane, by Syrian author Halim Barakat, was translated by Bassam Frangieh and Roger Allen and published by AUC Press. Barakat, bless him, has a website, … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 51-60

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 41-50

This is where you'll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here's 11-20, 21-30, and 31-40. Please do help me out with errors and omissions. 41 The Heron, by the Egyptian author Ibrahim Aslan, translated by Elliot Colla and published by AUC Press. Read the eloquent Baheyya's homage to Aslan here. 42 Gate … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 41-50

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 31-40

This is where you'll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here's 11-20 and 21-30. Please do help me out with errors and omissions. 31 Najran Under Zero, by the Palestinian Yaha Yakhlaf. I could not find Najran Taht al-Sifr in English (see above for my horrible, literal translation), but I did see … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 31-40

Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 21-30

This is where you'll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here's 11-20. Please continue to help me out with errors and omissions. 21 The Epidemic, by Syrian author Hani al-Raheb,  was excerpted in Banipal 9, translated by Bassam K Frangieh. I can find none of al-Rehab’s fiction outside this excerpt. However, I … Continue reading Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 21-30