Middle East/North African Lit discussion

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requests and questions > The best I read from the region so far?

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message 1: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2756 comments Mod
Who is your favorite author from the region? The best you read?


message 2: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments I think my favorite book so far is No One Sleeps in Alexandria. I definitely want to read more from Meguid. I also have enjoyed what I've read from Mahfouz and very likely will read more from him.

Those are the first 2 that come to mind just off the top pf my head with no thinking.


message 3: by Kate (last edited Sep 23, 2012 11:57PM) (new)

Kate I read Leo Africanus by Amin Maalouf and loved it!


message 4: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2756 comments Mod
Sue and Kate , very happy to read your feedback :)

It is really odd that we haven't read for Mahfouz yet in the group !
I think I will read for Meguid again as well .

Kate , lots of friends recommended "Loe Africanus " for me , I must read it at some point , since I read for Amin Maalouf before , I think he worth keep tracking .


message 5: by Delia (new)

Delia (deliaad) | 18 comments Kate, I'm so happy to read your recommendation as I've recently got hold of this book.

I've read "On Identity" by Maalouf and I must say it gives one a new perspective over how different parts of our identity are "activated" by social, political, economical and cultural circumstances. An extremely enriching read that I recommend anyone who wants to plunge into Lebanese literature.


message 6: by Kate (last edited Sep 24, 2012 07:53AM) (new)

Kate I have to admit that I tried reading The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (Maalouf again) and really expected to love it after reading Leo the African. But I just couldn't get into it. I put it back on my to-read shelf (literally, not electronically). The same thing with another pair of books. I absolutely loved Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad which we just read and I was so excited to pick up a copy of The Loved Ones: A Modern Arabic Novel, started it, and was disappointed. But I'll give both of them another try someday.


message 7: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "I have to admit that I tried reading The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (Maalouf again) and really expected to love it after reading Leo the African. But I just couldn't get into it. I put it back on m..."

Kate, i also tried to read Maalouf's Crusades, but years ago. i decided i just wasn't ready for it because i didn't even know the history, really, from the European/Christian vantage. So i felt like i needed to read a general history before trying his book again, which i have yet to do.

i'm still thinking about what my favorite books this year have been...i remember being really surprised at how much i ended up enjoying My Name is Red and The Bastard of Istanbul.


message 8: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2756 comments Mod
Marieke ,

I am not sure why I was not able to finish "My name is Red" so far , but I liked Snow.

"The Bastard of Istanbul" is still on my to-read list , this reminds me , I enjoyed reading Burnt Shadows from Pakistan very much . from Egypt I liked Zaatand speaking of Mahfouz I read The Beginning and the End this year and I enjoyed it a lot . I read from Iraq Absent; it was a different experience .


message 9: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
Oh I loved Zaat!

I didn't manage to read Burnt Shadows yet. :(


message 10: by Aya (new)

Aya (aya7) | 8 comments My favourite author from the region, well, I like Ibrahim Nasrallah books (Al Malhat Al Falasteenie). I like the books of Ahlam Mostaghanmi..I like two books for Mureed Barghouti, 'Morning in Jenin' for Suzan Abu Alhawa..I love Leo the African for Ma'louf..

Thousand Splendid Suns from Afghanistan- Khalid Husseini is great as well..:)


message 11: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 607 comments Mod
My favorite author overall is Radwa Ashour (Egyptian), but right now I'm really enjoying America (Amiirka) by Rabee Jaber (Lebanese). It's about some of the earliest immigrant experiences from the Levant to the US. Unfortunately, it's not translated to English yet.


message 12: by Niledaughter (last edited Oct 02, 2012 01:16AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2756 comments Mod
Aya wrote: "My favourite author from the region, well, I like Ibrahim Nasrallah books (Al Malhat Al Falasteenie). I like the books of Ahlam Mostaghanmi..I like two books for Mureed Barghouti, 'Morning in Jenin..."

Salam Aya :)

I have not read for Ibrahim Nasrallah yet (too bad for me :( ) ....too many good books !

BTW , if anyone is interested in (Al Malhat Al Falasteenie) = Palestinian comedy series , part six was shortlisted for Arabic booker 2009 and it is available now in English Time of White Horses .

BTW , I am reading A Thousand Splendid Suns now !


message 13: by Niledaughter (last edited Oct 02, 2012 01:16AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2756 comments Mod
Melanie wrote: "My favorite author overall is Radwa Ashour (Egyptian), but right now I'm really enjoying America (Amiirka) by Rabee Jaber (Lebanese). It's about some of the earliest immigrant experiences from the ..."

What did you read for Radwa Ashour ? I only read Granada (the whole triolgy - not only part 1 and I am not sure if all the parts are available in English ) . also I want to read الطنطورية= the woman from tantoura while we are still in this stop .

Too bad Rabee Jaber's America (Amiirka)is not available yet in English .

* BTW , do you read in Arabic ?


message 14: by Aya (new)

Aya (aya7) | 8 comments Salam Nile :)
Time of While Horses is beautiful, one of my favourites, especially that it looks at history from a different perspectivee than what we were taught (at schools for example). The author made research on the history of that period, and built his novel around that.

Thousand Splindid Suns is beautiful as well. It hurts a lot in many parts, but I guess we should know these things :)

Al Tantouria is amazing..I consider it part of the documentation of what happened in 1948..The massacre that took place in Tantura at that time is just being documented nowadays, and what is written in Al Tanturia about that is a documentation from old people who lived the massacre..I encourage people to read it for sure..

:)


message 15: by Philippa (new)

Philippa | 57 comments One of the best I've read this year is definitely Mornings in Jenin. It's one of those books that stayed with me for a long times after I finished reading it. I couldn't get myself to start a new book because I just couldn't get the story and the characters out of my head. The book moved and shocked me in ways that I hadn't expected when I began reading it. Personally, I think it's one of those books that everyone should read, whether you're particularly interested in the Middle East or not.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Philippa wrote: "One of the best I've read this year is definitely Mornings in Jenin. It's one of those books that stayed with me for a long times after I finished reading it. I couldn't get myself to start a new b..."

Wow, this thread, along with the "Book recommandations" and "What are you reading now" are so active lately, I keep adding new titles on my to-read list! Thank you Philippa for your input on Mornings in Jenin. It will definitely be my next companion! :)


message 17: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
I'm ashamed I haven't read Mornings in Jenin yet. I want to be able to really devote myself to it. Hopefully before the end of the year!


message 18: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Marieke wrote: "I'm ashamed I haven't read Mornings in Jenin yet. I want to be able to really devote myself to it. Hopefully before the end of the year!"

I haven't read it either, Marieke, though I just checked and I do have it on my kindle. Not sure when I can get to it.


message 19: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 607 comments Mod
Hello! Yes, I read in Arabic. I loved Radwa Ashour's trilogy (and wrote a paper about it in Arabic!). I believe that only part 1 is available in English, but it's a good translation in my opinion (trans. by William Granara). I've also read Siraaj (avail. in trans. by Barbara Romaine). I have some other books by her--hope to read them some day :) Yes, as soon as Rabee Jaber's book is available in English, I think it would be wonderful for this group.
---
What did you read for Radwa Ashour ? I only read Granada (the whole triolgy - not only part 1 and I am not sure if all the parts are available in English ) . also I want to read الطنطورية= the woman from tantoura while we are still in this stop .

Too bad Rabee Jaber's America (Amiirka)is not available yet in English .

* BTW , do you read in Arabic ?


message 20: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2756 comments Mod
I am glad I managed to read " Mornings in Jenin" ith the group , lately I am losing time and can't catch up !

Aya wrote: "Salam Nile :)
Time of While Horses is beautiful, one of my favourites, especially that it looks at history from a different perspectivee than what we were taught (at schools for example). The autho..."


you are pushing me to read "Time of White Horses" soon .....ohhh , so many books to read !!


Melanie wrote: "Hello! Yes, I read in Arabic. I loved Radwa Ashour's trilogy (and wrote a paper about it in Arabic!). I believe that only part 1 is available in English, but it's a good translation in my opinion (..."

Wow , that is very interesting ! :D . I hope it will be a good chance to read Specters with the group , it will be her first book discussion here .

BTW , I couldn't reach Granada trilogy in English , yes I also believe only part 1 is available in English (don't know why !)


message 21: by Nawab (new)

Nawab Manzoor | 2 comments I enjoy fast-pace thrillers, that's the basic reason Bullets and Train is one of my favorite books now. I read it a couple of months back.
The other reasons being; it is by a Pakistani and covers the sensitive topic of terrorism. Very few spy-thrillers out there, written by Pakistanis on terrorism.
I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys spy-thrillers.


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