Ursula and MLQ look back at notable books from 2018 and at reads they are looking forward to catching up on over the holiday break.
‘Tis the season for “best of” lists. Ursula wrote about Notable Books of 2018 From and About the Arab World in Al-Fanar; a number of them are books we have discussed on the show. One that we haven’t is Casablanca, Nid d’artistes, ed. Leila Slimani and Kenza Sefrioui.
Marcia was still working to compile the “Arab Authors’ Favorites” list that ArabLit runs every year. Early favorites included Mohamed Kheir’s Afalaat al-‘asabie, Muhairi Huwaidi’s Wa Kan al-Bayt Akhi al-Saba’a, and Mohamed Shoair’s Awlad Haretna: Biography of a Forbidden Novel.
We talked about Shoair’s Biography of a Forbidden Novel, which focuses on Naguib Mahfouz’s Children of Our Alley, and the intimidation of other public intellectuals, particularly Nasr Abu Zeid and Farag Fouda. Shoair’s book is dedicated to Taha Hussein and Nasr Abu Zeid.
Yasmine Rashidi wrote in the New York Times about “How Egypt Crowdsources Censorship.”
Nawal Nasrallah was one of the winners of the $2M Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation, based in Qatar, for her translation of the fourteenth-century Egyptian cookbook Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table.
And, on December 11, Saudi writer Omaima al-Khamis was announced as the winner of this year’s Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, for her historical novel Voyage of the Cranes over the Agate Cities.