On September 10th we read Endings (Al Nehayat) by Abd al-Rahman Munif. A compelling interweaving of stories, Endings is striking not only for its setting and its unique style of narrative, but also for its vivid commentary on the emergence of the modern city and its urban middle class.Set in a village on the edge of a desert, Endings provides an exquisite portrayal of the desert environment, the tumultuous forces of change and the relationship between humans and animals. Born in 1933 to a Saudi father and an Iraqi mother, Munif’s rich text incorporates both pre-Islamic traditional myths and self-reflective social commentary. Endings was the first book by a Saudi author to be translated into English from Arabic. The translator, Roger Allen, is a Professor of Arabic at the University of Pennsylvania in the USA. He undertook the translation in consultation with the author.