Six award-winning Arab books you can read in English

Here, we look at former winning books that have been translated into English. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 April 2018
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Six award-winning Arab books you can read in English

DUBAI: Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah’s “The Second War of the Dog” has won 2018’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Here, we look at former winning books that have been translated into English.
‘Frankenstein in Baghdad’
Ahmed Saadawi

This thriller, which won in 2014, is set in an Iraq beset by political instability. Protagonist Hadi Al-Attag sews together the body parts of those killed in explosions, creating a monster that soon goes missing. The dark tale was published in Arabic in 2013 and was then translated into English in 2018.
‘The Bamboo Stalk’
Saud Alsanousi

This tale of endurance in the face of abandonment begins when Josephine comes to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a housemaid. The son of the household decides to marry her in secret, but deserts her when she falls pregnant. The novel, which won the prize in 2013, tells the story of the neglected child.
‘The Druze of Belgrade’
Rabee Jaber

After the 1860 civil war in Mount Lebanon, Druze fighters forced into exile in the Balkans are joined by a Christian egg seller from Beirut called Hanna Yacoub. The book, which won the prize in 2012, follows the group’s adventures as they struggle to stay alive in a foreign land.
‘The Dove’s Necklace’
Raja Alem

This complex story, which won the 2011 prize, is told by one of the few women on the list of awardees. The plot centers on a police officer who is incapable of finding a young woman’s killer. The Saudi author takes the reader on a spiritual journey across time and space to solve the mystery.
‘Azazeel’
Youssef Ziedan

Set in the fifth century in Alexandria and northern Syria, 2009’s winning book tells the story of the fight between Christianity and Paganism within one monk — as he struggles to harmonize his contending inner beliefs — and within the wider public.
Sunset Oasis
Bahaa Taher

The novel — 2008’s winning book — follows the life of a middle-aged Egyptian government official who is sent to govern the oasis of Siwa by his British superiors as punishment for his role in a failed revolt in 1882. His wife accompanies him, putting to bed any hopes he had of using the mission to find himself.


What We Are Reading Today: Identity Crisis

Updated 20 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Identity Crisis

Authors: John Sides, Michael Tesler & Lynn Vavreck

Donald Trump’s election victory stunned the world. How did he pull it off? Was it his appeal to alienated voters in the battleground states? Was it Hillary Clinton and the scandals associated with her long career in politics? Were key factors already in place before the nominees were even chosen?
Identity Crisis provides a gripping account of the campaign that appeared to break all the political rules — but in fact didn’t, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. Identity Crisis takes readers from the bruising primaries to an election night the outcome of which defied the predictions of the pollsters and pundits. The book shows how fundamental characteristics of the nation and its politics —the state of the economy, the Obama presidency, and the demographics of the political parties — combined with the candidates’ personalities and rhetoric to produce one of the most unexpected presidencies in history.