12 November 2010

Reading list: The 100 best Arabic books

Top 20 of the 100 best Arabic books, according to the Arab Writer's Union.


1. The Cairo Trilogy, by Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz. Trans. William Maynard Hutchins. Everyman’s Library, 2001.

2. In Search of Walid Masoud, by the Palestinian author Jabra Ibrahim Jabra. Trans. Adnan Haydar & Roger Allen. Syracuse University Press, 2000.

3. Honor, by the Egyptian writer Sonallah Ibrahim. Untranslated.

4. War in the Land of Egypt, by the Egyptian Yusuf al-Qa’id. Trans. Olive and Lorne Kenny and Christopher Tingley. Interlink, 1997.

5. Men in the Sun, by the Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani. Trans. Hilary Kilpatrick. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998.

6. The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist, by Palestinian Emile Habibi. Trans. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. Interlink, 2001.

7. The Desolate Time, by Syrian author Haidar Haidar. Untranslated.

8. Rama and the Dragon, by the Egyptian Edward al Kharrat. Trans. Ferial Ghazoul and John Verlenden. AUC Press, 2002.

9. Thus Spoke Abu Huraira, by the Tunisian author Mahmoud Messadi. Translated into French. Untranslated in English.

10. Beirut Nightmares, by Syrian author Ghada Samman. Trans. Nancy N. Roberts. Quartet Books, 1998.

11. The Animists, by Libyan author Ibrahim al-Koni. Trans. Elliot Colla. AUC Press, 2012.

12. Tattoo, by Iraqi author Abdul Rahman Majeed al-Rubaie. Trans. Shakir Mustafa. Unpublished(?).

13. The Long Way Back, by Iraqi author Fouad Al-Takarli. Trans. Catherine Cobham. AUC Press, 2007.

14. The Sail and the Storm, by Syrian author Hanna Mina (aka Hanna Minah). Untranslated.

15. Zayni Barakat, by the Egyptian author Gamal al-Ghitani. Trans. Farouk Abdel Wahab Mustafa. Penguin, 1990.

16: Gardens of the Night, a trilogy by Libyan author Ahmad Ibrahim al-Faqih. Quartet Books, 1995.

17. I Live, by Lebanese author Leila Baalbaki. Untranslated.

18. No One Sleeps in Alexandria, by Egyptian author Ibrahim Abdel Meguid. Trans. Farouk Abdel Wahab Mustafa. AUC Press, 2007.

19. Love in Exile, by Egyptian author Bahaa Taher. Trans. Farouk Abdel Wahab Mustafa. AUC Press, 2001.

20. The Cycles of the East, by the Syrian novelist Nabil Suleiman. Untranslated.

See the rest of the 105 books in this great site here:



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