"The wave of days rises / and recedes, bidding farewell to / shells of love and hate / upon the body / resounding with the echoes of words."
"Usefully, the Banipal list is not just a list, but also includes brief introductions to both the works and their authors, as well as some contextualization."
Yet Iraqi literature continues, somehow, to blossom. There are older writers Fadhil al-Azzawi and Muhammad Khudayyir still at work (although the former in exile), and much younger ones, too: Thirtysomething Iraqi Hassan Blassim has been called "perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive."
I missed this in last week's Al Ahram Weekly, but I suppose it wasn't "timely" in any case: these are memories of a Palestinian who died in 1994 and whose Baghdad home was destroyed in April 2010. The news of his home's destruction was reported in the NYTimes in May, giving rise to a tide … Continue reading Denys Johnson-Davies Remembers Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
I have known Jabra Ibrahim Jabra---whose relatives and Baghdad home were lost to a car bomb last month---as a novelist and memoirist. However, the great Palestinian writer, who died in 1994, was also a music-lover, an art critic, a poet. According to the site Resistance Art (from whom I've borrowed this image), Jabra founded the … Continue reading Remembering Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
Somehow, I thought I could quickly track down each of these 100 titles, translate them (roughly), note whether or not an English translation or excerpt exists, and be done with it. Apparently, my eyes were bigger than my fingers. So here you have it! The first 10 of the best hundred Arab novels selected by … Continue reading The Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 1-10