Middle East/North African Lit discussion

requests and questions > Middle eastern x spiritual books?

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message 1: by Ru (new)

Ru (rurucake) | 10 comments Hello all,

I hope you're all getting on ok and I hope books are helping you get through these unpredictable times (I know they're helping me through!)

So I wondered if anybody has come across any books that weave together spirituality and the middle east, ideally fiction. The reason I ask this is because I recently read The Forty Rules of Love (Elif Shafak). I really wasn't a massive fan. Despite this, I was inspired and reflective in certain moments and decided that I like the idea of spirituality and story-telling. Has anybody come across anything in a similar "genre". It might be a little niche but thought I'd ask anyway :)

message 2: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 647 comments Mod
Hi Ru, Thanks for your question about spirituality in the Middle East. I felt the same about "40 Rules." Here are some other ideas:
- Naguib Mahfouz has a number of books with a spiritual (Sufi) aspect. See for example The Quarter
- Reem Bassiouney's Mamluk trilogy, "Children of the People" has spiritual/Sufi elements and is forthcoming in English translation in the next year or so from Syracuse University Press.
Outside of the MENA region, you might enjoy books such as Coelho's The Alchemist

message 3: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 343 comments Ru, Have you considered The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur?

message 4: by Melanie, Marhaba Language Expertise (new)

Melanie (magidow) | 647 comments Mod
Good idea! And it inspired books such as Bird Summons by Leila Aboulila and The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson.

message 5: by Ru (new)

Ru (rurucake) | 10 comments Thank you so much for these thoughtful responses. I’ll most certainly look them up :)

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