University Library News
Georgia State University

100 Best Arabic Books

M. Lynx Qualey, author of the blog Arabic Literature (in English) has recently reprinted the list of the Best 100 Arabic Books according to the Arab Writers Union.  The list includes a commentary on each book as well as the availability of English translations.

Many of the books are available in English in the library in support of the Arabic language courses offered through the Middle East Institute. Below are just a few of the many titles on the list available for you to check out from the Library.  For additional titles, check GIL, the Library’s online catalog.

#6 of the Best of 100
pessoptimistḤabībī, Imīl. The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist. Brooklyn: Interlink Books, 2002.
Call Number:  PJ7828.B53 W313 2002.
The story of a Palestinian who becomes a citizen of Israel, combines fact and fantasy, tragedy and comedy.



#8 of the Best of 100
ramaanddragonKharrāṭ, Idwār. Rama and the Dragon. New York  American University in Cairo Press, 2002.
Call Number:  PJ7842.H327 R3513 2002.
A love story of unrequited passion between Rama and Mikhail. Their story symbolizes the relationship between man and woman, Copt and Muslim, and Upper and Lower Egypt.



#13 of the Best of 100
longwaybackTakarlī, Fuʾād. The Long Way Back. New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2001.
Call Number:  PJ7864.A3744 R3413 2001.
Tells the story of four generations of the same family living in an old house in the Bab al-Shaykh area of Baghdad.



#18 of the Best of 100
noonesleepsʻAbd al-Majīd, Ibrāhīm. No One Sleeps in Alexandria. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1999.
Call Number:  PJ7804.M323 L3213 1999
Depicts the lives of an assortment of Egyptians–Muslims and Copts, northerners and southerners, men and women–as they begin to settle in Egypt’s great second city, and explores how the Second World War, comes crashing down on them,


#19 of the Best of 100
loveinexileTāhir, Bahāʾ. Love in Exile. New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2001.
Call Number:  PJ7864.A357 H8313 2001
Tells the story of the unnamed narrator, an Egyptian journalist in a self-imposed exile in Europe after conflict with the management of his newspaper and a divorce from his wife.