5 Must-read Memoirs (and Not-quite-memoirs)

Assembly Journal, for their "five books" series, asked me to come up with a list of five Arabic books. The field was too dizzyingly wide. Even when I narrowed my topic to "memoirs and not-quite-memoirs," it was a difficult winnowing process: What about Galal Amin's Nectar of the Years? Well, it hasn't been translated into English, so that's that, I suppose. Sayyid Qutb or Huda Shaarawi's memoirs, for their historical and political importance? Taha Hussein's classic The Days? (But hasn't everyone already read The Days?)

Sonallah Ibrahim Takes the Proust Questionnaire

Ursula Lindsay has a lovely interview with Sonallah Ibrahim in The National, on the occasion of his novel التلصص (Stealth) appearing in English. As someone who was only allowed 570 words to write about this amazing book, I'm quite jealous. Lindsay notes, on her post about the interview/review on The Arabist, that Ibrahim had been … Continue reading Sonallah Ibrahim Takes the Proust Questionnaire

The Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 1-10

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