Upcoming Kutub Books

We recommend our readers continue exploring Arab Literature through the following titles:

Year of the Elephant (‘Am al-fil) by Leila Abouzeid

The American Granddaughter (Al-Hafida al-Amreekeya) by Inaam Kachachi

Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif

The Arab Spring – Words without Borders

As we stand with all those in struggle in Syria, Libya and the region, Kutub highly recommends all readers check out Words Without Borders’ series on The Arab Spring.

The Words Without Borders series documents the Arab Spring with literature from the countries of the uprisings. Following the sequence of events, they begin in North Africa with writing from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and Tunisia – and continue into Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.   Continue reading

Year of the Elephant (‘Am al-fil) by Leila Abouzeid

We recommend our readers consider reading Year of the Elephant (‘Am al-fil) by Leila Abouzeid — which was the first work by a Moroccan woman to be translated into English (by Barbara Parmenter in 1989, three years after it was written).  The book’s full title – Year of the Elephant: A Moroccan Woman’s Journey Toward Independence, and Other Short Stories – sets the stage for readers to discover a novella and eight short stories which serve as an eloquent representation of life in the wake of Morocco’s successful struggle for independence from French occupation.  Continue reading

Signs of the Times: The Popular Literature of Tahrir

Kutub highly recommends Signs of the Times: the Popular Literature of Tahrir: Protest Signs, Graffiti, and Street Art the April edition of Shahadat, a monthly online series created by ArteEast designed to provide a platform for experimentation and promotion of short form writing on the web. This issue, co-curated by Rayya El Zein & Alex Ortiz, takes as its focus the popular literature of the Egyptian Revolution. Drawing on protest signs, graffiti, and street art in Tahrir to read the culture of resistance particular to the Egyptian Revolution, the curators examine how protesters changed the political narrative through the use of images, memorials, and expressions of daily life.

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Cairo by G. Willow Wilson

As we get into the heat of summer, we highly recommend Cairo – a compelling graphic novel by G. Willow Wilson and artist MK Perker from Vertigo Comics. Set against the backdrop of the largest city in the Middle East and Africa, Cairo is a fast-paced modern fable that draws six unlikely characters into the search for a very unusual djinn-friendly hooka.

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Award Winning Recommendations

Here are some award winning recommendations to read…

Emirates Foundation International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist – 2010

  • A Cloudy Day of the West Side – Muhammad Al-Mansi Qindeel
  • Beyond Paradise – Mansoura Ez Eldin
  • America – Rabee Jabir
  • She Throws Sparks – Abdo Khal
  • The Lady from Tel-Aviv – Raba’i Madhoun
  • When the Wolves Grow Old – Jamal Naji

Emirates Foundation International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist – 2009

  • Hunger – Mohamed El-Bisatie
  • The Unfaithful Translator – Fawwaz Haddad
  • The American Granddaughter – Inaam Kachachi
  • Time of White Horses – Ibrahim Nasrallah
  • The Scents of Marie-Claire – Habib Selmi
  • Beelzebub – Youssef Ziedan (Prize Recipient 2009)

Emirates Foundation International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist – 2008

Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature

  • Dafater Al-Tadween: Vol VI – Gamal Al Ghitani (2009)
  • Call of What Was Far – Ibrahim Al-Koni (2008)
  • The Prince and the Passage of the Iron Doors – Wacini Al-Aaraj (2007)

Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature winners

Emirates Foundation International Prize for Arabic Fiction