Ordering Books

To make sure you have the book of the month in time to read it before our discussions, we suggest you try to order them in advance. Sometimes it is hard to find certain titles locally either in one or both languages.

Resources we suggest include the following. Please let us know if you have other suggestions!

For Arabic books:

For English books:


2009 Summer Reading List

To celebrate the summer wedding season try:

  • Wedding Night by Yusuf Abu Rayya
  • The Wedding of Zein and other Stories by Tayeb Saleh
  • Wedding by the Sea by Abdelkader Benali
  • Wedding Song by Naguib Mahfouz

For a change,why not explore some non-fiction:

  • Fragments of Memory: A Story of a Syrian Family, by Syrian author Hanna Mina
  • Children of the Roojme: A Family’s Journey From Lebanon by Elmaz Abinader
  • Return to Childhood: The Memoir of a Modern Moroccan Woman by Leila Abouzeid, Elizabeth Fernea

Short story collections make great Travel books:

  • Oranges in the Sun: Short Stories from the Arabian Gulf, edited by Akers and Bagader
  • Short Stories by Saudi Arabian Women Writers, edited by Ava Heinrichsdorff
  • A Last Glass of Tea and Other Stories by Mohammed el Bisatie
  • Native Informant: Six Tales of Defiance from the Arab World by Ramzi Salti

To try more by authors we’ve read before, we suggest:

  • The Image, the Icon, and the Covenant by Sahar Khalifeh
  • Samarkand by Amin Maalouf
  • Story of a City by Abdul Rahman Munif
  • Beirut Blues by Hanan al-Shaykh

To learn about authors we have yet to read in Kutub, we suggest:

  • Sharon and My Mother-in-law by Suad al-Amiry
  • Leaving Beirut by Mai Ghoussoub
  • The Ship by Jabra Ibrahim
  • The Tongue’s Blood Does Not Run Dry by Assia Djebar
  • Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad, by Iraqi author Alia Mamdouh

Modern Arabic Short Stories: A Bilingual Reader by Daniel L. Newman, Ronak Husni

Next month – June (1st) – we shall discuss the second half of Modern Arabic Short Stories: A Bilingual Reader by Daniel L. Newman, Ronak Husni. This work features twelve stories by contemporary masters from Morocco to Iraq. The twelve stories collected here are by leading authors of the short story form in the Middle East today. We read the first half for our meeting in May.

In addition to works by writers already well-known in the West such as Idwar al-Kharrat, Fuad al-Takarli and Nobel Prize-winning Naguib Mahfouz, key authors whose fame has hitherto been restricted to the Middle East are also included. This bilingual reader is ideal for students of Arabic as well as lovers of literature who wish to broaden their appreciation of the work of Middle Eastern writers. The collection features stories in both English and Arabic, prefaced by a brief author biography plus notes on context and background. Each story is followed by a glossary and discussion of problematic language points.

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Winter 2008 Book Suggestions

More books we hope to read soon include:

  • The New Year of the Revolutionary Bread Making Machine by Hassan Daoud
  • Woman at Point Zero (Imra’a ‘ind Nuqtat al-Sifr) Nawal As Sadaawi
  • The Last Chapter by Leila Abouzeid
  • Aunt Saffiya & the Monastery ( خالتي صفية والدير ) by Bahaa Tahe
  • The Secret Life of Saaed the Pessoptomist by Emile Habiby
  • Black Magic by Hamdy el-Ghazzar
  • Leaves of Narcissus (Awraq Al-Narjis) by Somaya Ramadan
  • The Map of Love by Ahdaf Souei
  • Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women, Edited by Roseanne Saad Khalaf

“Hikayat – Short Stories by Lebanese Women”

Hikayat – Short Stories by Lebanese Women — Edited by Roseanne Saad Khalaf.

This introduction included here with thanks and all credit to Roseanne Saad Khalaf.  To purchase and for more information on the book, please see: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hikayat-Short-Stories-Lebanese-Women/dp/1846590116

The selections presented in this anthology bring together contemporary stories and prose pieces by established Lebanese women authors as well as promising young writers. They highlight the diversity, startling originality and compelling richness of women’s voices and experiences in a dynamic, fast-changing cosmopolitan society. Collectively, the narratives span three distinct but overlapping eras: the pre-war period, often considered the golden age in Lebanon; the two decades of protracted civil strife; followed by the postwar phase of reconstruction and reconciliation.

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Summer 2008 Reading List

For the Summer 2008 we suggested the following short story collections. A great way to get to know authors and a range of stories from across the region, our recommendations include works by Yusuf Idris and Mohammed El-Bisatie of Egypt, Mohammed Al-Murr of the UAE, Hanan al-Shaykh of Lebanon, Ghassan Kanafani of Palestine, and Tayeb Salih of the Sudan.

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Kaleem Books

We are excited to announce the launch of Kaleem Books – www.kaleembooks.com a new Arabic Literature Publishing house that is looking to transform the Arabic publishing world.

Kaleem Books has published its first book: Tunisian Tale (Hikaya Tunisiyya) by Hassouna Al Mosbahi. Renowned Tunisian author Hassouna Al Mosbahi, uses this sordid story to transport us to “M” slum, festering with poor immigrants who have come from the Tunisian heartland to the metropolis, looking for a better life. Currently only printed in Arabic – copies available at the gallery.

Interested in joining the Kaleem team? They are hiring!
Go to http://www.kaleembooks.com to find out more.

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