Two books, Season of Migration to the North and Cities of Salt reappear several times, the former a very slim, riveting tale, and the latter a corpulent novel–both unsettling, both beautifully rendered.
The “Five Before You Die” was a feature we ran back in the summer 2010; by now, there are now many more great Arabic books available in translation, but this remains a strong list from translators, authors, critics, and publishers.
Although he might not put it on his resume, Mustafa was perhaps the first supporter of this blog. He teaches at Northeastern University, translates, and is the editor and translator of the excellent Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: An Anthology. His picks:
- Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North
- Naguib Mahfouz, Miramar
- Assia Djebar, Women of Algiers in Their Apartments (written in French, but because women are needed on the list, I’ll allow it)
- Mourid Barghouti, I Saw Ramallah
- Alifa Rifat, Distant View of a Minaret
Saeed is the acclaimed and award-winning author of Saddam City, among many…
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