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The first anthology of its kind in the West, Contemporary Iraqi Fiction gathers work from sixteen Iraqi writers, all translated from Arabic into English. Shedding a bright light on the rich diversity Iraqi experience, Shakir Mustafa has included selections by Iraqi women, Iraqi Jews now living in Israel, and Christians and Muslims living both in Iraq and abroad. While each voice is distinct, they are united in writing about a homeland that has suffered under repression, censorship, war, and occupation. Many of the selections mirror these grim realities, forcing the writers to open up new narrative terrains and experiment with traditional forms. Muhammad Khodayyir’s surrealist portraits of his home city, Basra, in an excerpt from Basriyyatha and the magical realism of Mayselun Hadi’s "Calendars" both offer powerful expressions of the absurdity of everyday life. Themes range from childhood and family to war, political oppression, and interfaith relationships. Mustafa provides biographical sketches for the writers and an enlightening introduction, chronicling the evolution of Iraqi literature.
This indispensible guide to modern Arabic literature in English translation features not only a comprehensive bibliography but also chapters on fiction, drama, poetry, and autobiography, as well as a special chapter on Iraq's Arabic literature. By focusing on Najib Mahfuz, one of Arabic Literature's luminaries, and on poetry--a major, if not the major genre of the region-- Altoma assesses the progress made towards a wider reception of Arabic writing throughout the western world.
The Historical Dictionary of Iraq, Second Edition covers the history of Iraq through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has several hundred cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Iraq.
Set during the Lebanese civil war, this novel chronicles the splintering of the Al-Mukhtars, a Lebanese family whose love and trust for one another is strained by the increasing economic, social, and psychological tensions that surround them. Huda, feeling helpless as a housewife, pursues a career as a university professor and immerses herself in her work and students. Sharif, trapped in a static bureaucratic position, begins to resent his wife’s success and slowly withdraws from his family. When their marriage dissolves, the couple fight over the custody of their adolescent daughter. In a patriarchal society that favors the rights of the father, Huda is powerless as her daughter is taken from her. Through the author’s use of flashbacks, the reader witnesses the stark contrast between the young, idealistic couple and the older husband and wife, who have become increasingly isolated and disillusioned.
"It was Saturday. I remember. And while he was standing on a step ladder in the hall, changing a light bulb in the faint light coming through the window, I decided to love him." So begins this wonderfully exuberant novel of quixotic adolescent longing and the enduring search for self. Set in middle-class urban Egypt, the story chronicles young Wafaa’s struggle to come to terms with her own sexuality and her romantic infatuation with her cousin Ashraf, a spoiled and confident young Egyptian who was educated in England. Ashraf’s worldliness and carefree attitudes stand in sharp contrast to Wafaa’s provincial Islamic piousness.
The Libyan landscape is one of the most diverse and breathtaking, replete with barren deserts, vast ocean coasts, and a stunning display of earth's elements. Al-Koni, an award-winning and critically acclaimed Arabic writer, reflects on this fragile environment and the increasing threats to its existence in A Sleepless Eye, a collection of the poet's desert wisdom. He highlights the relationships between humans and Libya's natural features, grouping them by theme: nature, desert, water, sea, wind, rock, trees, and fire. Each theme contains a set of aphorisms that deliver thoughtful perspectives on what it means to coexist with an evolving planet. This volume is the result of the author's collaboration with the celebrated French nature photographer, Alain Sèbe, and English translator Allen. The product is a body of work that calls upon readers to question their relationship with the earth through meditative ideas and photos, familiarizing English readers with the fundamental philosophies of environmental stewardship that transcend all boundaries.
Translations of 12 Arabic plays written and produced during the past thirty years.

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