Middle East/North African Lit discussion

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2015 cruise > Egypt _ book recommendations

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message 1: by Niledaughter (last edited Oct 30, 2014 05:55AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Please share your ideas ...Let us read from Egypt :)


Mahmoud Said (Egyptian, 1897-1964) Sunset On The Nile At Luxor


message 2: by Kamran (new)

Kamran | 4 comments anything from Egypt free on kindle, please must share...


message 4: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments I'm going to check these out.


message 5: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 656 comments Mod
Great! Let us know if any of them look good to you :)


message 6: by Kamran (new)

Kamran | 4 comments Please share spy-thrillers as well


message 7: by Sue (last edited Oct 30, 2014 09:44PM) (new)

Sue | 628 comments I just realised that I've read Children of the Alley but I would like to read more by Mahfouz.

Sadly, while I already have several of these titles on one of my reading lists, my library system has none of them. It does have many other books by Mahfouz but the ones mentioned do sound good.


message 8: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 656 comments Mod
Have you ever asked your librarian if they could special order one book for you from out of the system, or even to purchase for the library? Also, do you have a college or university nearby? You might be able to borrow a book from there. I'll also look for online options at some point...


message 9: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Thanks Melanie. I actually have some local universities in my system but could ask my library to look beyond that system once I decided what book I was going to read.


message 10: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 656 comments Mod
Hi All,
I returned to my list and looked them up on Amazon. Here are the titles that have Kindle options, just FYI:

The Seventh Heaven: Supernatural Tales
Time-Travels of the Man Who Sold Pickles and Sweets
The Lodging House: A Modern Arabic Novel
Distant View of a Minaret and Other Stories
Moon Over Samarqand
House of the Wolf

If this is an important feature for you, then we could try to include only Kindle-available books in our Egyptian fiction poll...Let us know here if you have a preference!


message 11: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 812 comments Melanie wrote: "Hi All,
I returned to my list and looked them up on Amazon. Here are the titles that have Kindle options, just FYI:

The Seventh Heaven: Supernatural Tales
Time-Travels of the Man Who Sold Pickles ..."


Those look interesting. If some people prefer kindles that's fine. Personally I hate them so if a book is only available as an ebook I won't be reading it.


message 12: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 656 comments Mod
None of the books are e-book only :)


message 13: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 13, 2014 02:18AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
We can arrange different readings from Egypt , like classics , modern ,may be feminism or memoirs ....according to the amount of recommendations we have ?

Kamran wrote: "Please share spy-thrillers as well"

I am not sure about the available translations for this genre , here is some articles about Ahmed Mourad ; he is one of the young authors in Egypt who writes thrillers :

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011...
https://arablit.wordpress.com/2014/04...

Here is his book "Vertigo " (kindle edition)
http://www.amazon.com/Vertigo-English...

See if you find this one interesting Utopia , there is a kindle edition as well

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent...


message 14: by Nuri (new)

Nuri (guillan) | 5 comments I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but anyway..

I think Naguib Mahfouz is the first name comes to mind when you think about Egyptian authors, right? Like Orhan Pamuk-Turkey. I haven't read anything by Mahfouz, he is one of my huge reading gaps. And I'd like to tackle some of his works in 2015. I'll probably buy all of his translated books since they're on 50% sale at the local bookstore right now(YAYY!!).

So, where to start reading Mahfouz? Which book(s) would you recommend?


message 15: by Ardene (last edited Nov 21, 2014 02:00PM) (new)

Ardene (booksnpeaches) | 114 comments I haven't read Mahfouz either, the palace trilogy is the best known I guess, though I'd rather start with a stand-alone.

Here are a couple I've found via the web.

Maryam's maze by Mansoura Ez-Eldin

Sunset Oasis by Bahaa Taher (or others by this author)

In the eye of the sun (Did this group do a read of this a few years agao?)

Miral al-Tahawy, Brooklyn Heights


message 16: by Ahsalah (new)

Ahsalah Timothy wrote: "I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but anyway..

I think Naguib Mahfouz is the first name comes to mind when you think about Egyptian authors, right? Like Orhan Pamuk-Turkey. I haven't..."


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

I think it's a good start


message 17: by Nuri (new)

Nuri (guillan) | 5 comments Thanks Ardene & Ahsalah! The Harafish looks good, will probably be my first Mahfouz. I always get confused when an author I plan to read is very prolific.


message 18: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 812 comments Since moving to Canada 15 years ago I feel out of touch with the current literary scene. I would like to read some 21st century Egyptian writers, ideally recent. I would not know where to start.


message 19: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 23, 2014 01:15AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Timothy wrote: "I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but anyway..

I think Naguib Mahfouz is the first name comes to mind when you think about Egyptian authors, right? Like Orhan Pamuk-Turkey. I haven't..."


We haven't read for Naguib Mahfouz yet ! :-( I am not sure would it be better to set a poll for his work alone or for classics in general ) - in Melanie's message no 3 ; she recommended books for Mahfouz ,Khairi Shalabi (who received a Canadian nomination for the Nobel Prize in literature before dying in 2011 ) , also it will be interesting to pass by Tawfiq al-Hakim ; Diary of a Country Prosecutor is a master piece and also an autobiographical novel .

For Mahfouz , I believe " Ahsalah" could be a good start even though I hadn't read it myself , I read The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk / Palace of Desire / Sugar Street years ago , it is his most popular work but very huge . Children of the Alley was banned in Egypt for years . all before are deal with the community of the Egyptian alley ( I believe round 1920s) , if you want to get out of that zone you can read The Beginning and the End , Adrift on the Nile or Cairo Modern ...more of Cairo in 30s and 50s .

If you are into old history of Egypt you can try Thebes at War .

also Arabian Nights and Days is a retelling of the tales of the Arabian Nights.

It is difficult to pick which to read for Mahfouz !


message 20: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 23, 2014 01:27AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Ardene wrote: "I haven't read Mahfouz either, the palace trilogy is the best known I guess, though I'd rather start with a stand-alone.

Here are a couple I've found via the web.

Maryam's maze by Mansoura Ez-Eld..."


We didn't read In the Eye of the Sun but we read The Map of Love in the group . I think "In the Eye of the Sun" was included in a poll before , I read it a few years ago , I am fan of Ahdaf Soueif :)

It will be intresting to read to young authors like Mansoura Ez-Eldin or Miral al-Tahawy - we read The Tent in here :
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Thanks for bringing up Sunset Oasis , it is the first winner of the International Prize For Arabic Fiction (2008 winner) , we can revive the Prizes project with it ! Love In Exile and Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery are important novels for him as well .


message 21: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 23, 2014 01:51AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "Since moving to Cana[da 15 years ago I feel out of touch with the current literary scene. I would like to read some 21st century Egyptian writers, ideally recent. I would not know where to start."

we will try to arrange something , beside the names we have above , I would like to read again to [author:Sonallah Ibrahim|4086021]
http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-t...

I have a copy of Warda

We can read again for Radwa Ashour , Melanie recommended her last translated book The Woman from Tantoura (It is about Palestine )

We can read again for Ibrahim Abdel Meguid , Many members enjoyed "No One Sleeps in Alexandria" , so we can read the second part Birds of Amber .

I remember enjoying reading Cairo Swan Song
About Copts in Egypt Rama and the Dragon
Azazeel
War in the Land of Egypt
The Man from Bashmour: A Modern Arabic Novel
For young authors Red Wine


message 22: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 812 comments Nile daughter wrote: "Jalilah wrote: "Since moving to Cana[da 15 years ago I feel out of touch with the current literary scene. I would like to read some 21st century Egyptian writers, ideally recent. I would not know w..."

Thanks Nile Daughter [book:Red Wine|19307170],Cairo Swan Song,Rama and the Dragon, all interest me!
I love Naguib Mahfouz. I was fortunate to have been able to read most of his translated works during a time period when I was also travelling to Egypt regularly. From all I know Egypt has undergone many changes since then so I am curious to read about this from newer authors.
I am also interested in Birds of Amber I take it I should read No One Sleeps in Alexandria first?


message 23: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Jalilah wrote: "Nile daughter wrote: "Jalilah wrote: "Since moving to Cana[da 15 years ago I feel out of touch with the current literary scene. I would like to read some 21st century Egyptian writers, ideally rece..."

I've read No One Sleeps in Alexandria and it is excellent. I have Birds of Amber on my shelf waiting. I'm not certain whether there is actually a sequence necessary to reading the books though they do occur at different times historically.


message 24: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
I am glad Jalila :) For " Birds of Amber" ,I agree with Sue , I think it is more about the history of the same city "Alexandria" and that is the connection , but to be honest I haven't read it .


message 25: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 812 comments Because the author is Tunisian, I don't know if كان صرحا من خيالI Loved You For Your Voice would count.
I have been wanting to read it for sometime. It is about the legendary Egyptian singer Om Kalthoum.


message 26: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 26, 2014 06:42AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "Because the author is Tunisian, I don't know if كان صرحا من خيالI Loved You For Your Voice would count.
I have been wanting to read it for sometime. It is about the le..."


Sure , I guess we can have some non fiction books on our list too , Melanie already posted some above .

Harem Years: The Memoirs of an Egyptian Feminist, 1879-1924
Whatever Else Happened to the Egyptians?: From the Revolution to the Age of Globalization and Egypt in the Era of Hosni Mubarak: 1981-2010 . we read a previous book (the first part )for Galal

an interesting biographical novel The Cairo House
Memoirs from the Women's Prison
A Border Passage: From Cairo to America – A Woman's Journey

If anyone is interested :
My Hope for Peace: tk
Nasser: My Husband


message 27: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 812 comments Nile daughter wrote: "Jalilah wrote: "Because the author is Tunisian, I don't know if كان صرحا من خيالI Loved You For Your Voice would count.
I have been wanting to read it for sometime. It..."


Nile Daughter I Loved You For Your Voice is a novel! Here is the description:
"The story of the Arab world's greatest and most popular singer, Umm Kulthum, told through the eyes of the poet Ahmad Rami, who wrote her lyrics and loved her in vain all his life. Spanning five decades in the history of modern Egypt, this passionate tale of love and longing provides a key to understanding the soul, the aspirations, and the disappointments of the Arab world.

Slim Nassib is also the author of "Un amant en Palestine," about the secret relationship between Lebanese-Palestinian banker Albert Pharaon and Golda Meir. Nassib is well known for his journalism and his work as a foreign correspondent. (less)"


message 28: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Okay ...no problem :)
I included ( the cairo house ) too as a biographical novel with nonfiction above , I feel confused about where to put this genre ?


message 29: by Damian (new)

Damian | 4 comments I've read everything for Naguib Mahfouz in terms of novels and short stories. But I will most gladly read any/all of them again! I have to say, other than the trilogy, my two favorite novels by him are Miramar and The Thief and the Dogs. Phenomenal writing!

Nowadays, my favorite Egyptian author is Amira Awaad. I've read The Ankhs: Red Marks The Child about a dozen times. Online rumors that part 2 is coming out this summer (fingers crossed). She also wrote a short book of contemporary poetry that's really accessible, yet she inserts things like her "vilanelle" which really boast her ability to craft proper poetry just like the pros.

Let me know if you guys wanna discuss any Mahfouz or Awaad or Aswany.


message 30: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
we will start our readings from Egypt by The Harafish .


message 31: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 656 comments Mod
Here's a recent post in honor of Naguib Mahfouz's 103rd birthday:

https://arablit.wordpress.com/2014/12...


message 32: by Dee (last edited Jan 06, 2015 05:23AM) (new)

Dee Jalilah wrote: "Since moving to Canada 15 years ago I feel out of touch with the current literary scene. I would like to read some 21st century Egyptian writers, ideally recent. I would not know where to start."

Here's a very good list:
http://egyptianstreets.com/2014/12/27...

Also, check out the AUC Press website. They translate a lot of Egyptian and Arabic novels into English, and many are recent.


message 33: by Dee (new)

Dee For the group, I'd recommend Yousef Idris. I see he hasn't been mentioned, from what I've skimmed of the comments here, and I think he's very worth reading. I consider him the second greatest Egyptian writer, after Mahfouz of course.


message 34: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Dominika wrote: "For the group, I'd recommend Yousef Idris. I see he hasn't been mentioned, from what I've skimmed of the comments here, and I think he's very worth reading. I consider him the second greatest Egypt..."

Thanks ...yes we missed mentioning him , we can add The Sinners to the classics poll , did you read it ? do you recommend anther book ?


message 35: by Dee (new)

Dee I recommend City of Love and Ashes, but I'd be happy to vote for The Sinners as well because I haven't read it yet :)


message 36: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Fine :) I read "The Sinners" and there is a movie for that one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aT7l...

. I can't reach which book in Arabic is City of Love and Ashes ...:(


message 37: by Dee (new)


message 38: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2808 comments Mod
Dominika wrote: "I think it's this one:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6..."


Thanks ! :)


message 39: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments My library has The Sinners so I may try to read that.


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