New Library-recommendation Project: 10 from Hosam Aboul-Ela

Our third list of 10 for public libraries — thankfully poetry-heavy — comes from acclaimed translator and academic Hosam Aboul-Ela:

For these lists-of-ten, ArabLit is asking scholars, critics, authors, translators, and other bibliocentrics about the Arabic Literature in translation they would recommend for US’s public libraries. Eventually, this will build to a list of 100 book-buying recommendations. Having searched a number of public-library systems, we’ve decided there is no particular need to recommend Arabic’s only Nobel literature laureate Naguib Mahfouz. Anything else is fair game.

Aboul-Ela is an associate professor at the University of Houston, where he teaches courses in postcolonial literature, literary theory, and American literature. He has translated Voices by Soleiman Fayyad (1993), Distant Train by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid (2007), and Stealth (2014) by Sonallah Ibrahim, and most recently brought out the compelling Domestications: American Empire, Literary Culture, and the Postcolonial LensHe is also the series editor of “The Arab List” at Seagull Books.

Aboul-Ela adds, as a caveat to his list, that were they still in print, he would also have: Sonallah Ibrahim’s Zaat, Abdallah Laroui’s The Crisis of the Arab Intellectual, and Fadwa Tuqan’s A Mountainous Journey.

1. Adonis’s An Introduction to Arabic Poetics, translated by Catherine Cobham

2. Hoda Barakat, The Stone of Laughtertranslated by Sophie Bennett

3. Mahmoud Darwish, If I Were Another, translated by Fady Joudah

4. Gamal al-Ghitani, Zayni Barakattranslated by Farouk Abdel Wahab

5. Mohammed Abed al-Jabri, Arab Islamic Philosophy a Contemporary Critiquetranslated by Aziz Abbassi

6. Ghassan Kanafani, Men in the Sun and other Palestinian Storiestranslated by Hilary Kilpatrick

7. Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salttranslated by Peter Theroux

8. Arwa Salih, The Stillborntranslated by Samah Selim

9. Latifa al-Zayyat, The Open Doortranslated by Marilyn Booth

10. Khaled Ziadeh, Neighborhood and Boulevardtranslated by Samah Selim

The previous lists:

10 from Marilyn Hacker

10 from Amanda Hannoosh Steinberg

10 from Tasnim Qutait

10 from Emily Drumsta

Click HERE to read more from this author.

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