voices of palenstine and Arabic world

Yesterday I reviewed Raja Shehedeh book A rift in time ,I love fiction from the middle east and north africa so I thought I give you some starting places to find out more about this vibrant writing .I hope you find these helpful firstly a book .

Beirut 39

Which was a tie in publication fromthe hay festival last year it feature stories novel extracts and poetry from 39 writers under 39 from all over the arabic world a great look at who is hot in arabic writing at the moment .There are three great Palenstine writers here if you want to follow on from reading Raja


arabic literature is a blog written by a Egyptian ,it feature news and interviews from the arabic world and also had a summer reading challenge last year with a wonderful list of books by the good and the great of arabic literature  .A blog worth following


The uk based Banipal specialize in abraic fiction ,I have read a few of there books and they always choice suprising books ,they also do a magazine of new writing three times a year .

the cario based American university of cario press ,the majour publish of arabic translations in English .

Profile and serpents tail in the uk publish a number of books including Raja’s back catalogue .

So here is a few places to start reading ,do you have a favourite book from the middle east ?


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 19:19:45

    Great list of resources. I haven’t read much Arab lit, but I did enjoy Palace of Desire by Mahfouz. I must try to read more Arab lit in the near future.


  2. Richard
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 20:25:10

    I think A. Munif’s Cities of Salt will likely be my next novel from the Middle East, but I just finished N. Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy and found it massively overrated as a whole (I did enjoy vol. I, Palace Walk, however). Not sure I have a favorite from the region right now, but I would like to become more familiar with lit from that corner of the world.


  3. Valerie
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 21:19:14

    I enjoyed Beirut 39 but was frustrated to find that many of the authors in that anthology are not available in English translation for works outside of that anthology. Excerpts of novels would pique my interest, only to find that the entire book isn’t available in English for the entire book. Hopefully that’ll change in the near future for these authors.

    And like Richard I just finished the Cairo Trilogy and probably would recommend a stand-alone of Mahfouz’s work instead.

    By the way I’m sorry for your family loss.


  4. Bina
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 12:17:32

    Sounds like a great introductory collection, Stu. I’ll have to look at the list of contributors and see if I can find some of their works in the library here! My current favorite is Croc Attac, it’s still fresh in my mind.


  5. The Book Whisperer
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 23:31:51

    Thanks for the info, Stu 🙂


  6. JoV
    Mar 15, 2011 @ 22:10:38

    Loads! Mostly non-fiction:
    I saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti
    La Prisonneires by Malika Oufkir
    The Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun.
    Caliph’s House and Arabic Night by Tahir Shah (a travelogue and humourous anecdotes of life in Morocco)

    I love books from Middle East and North Africa too, interestingly I haven’t yet read able to talk about Middle Eastern fictions that I really like, maybe Yalo by Elias Khoury but I have a strong feeling I may like “The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles.


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March 2011


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