Modern Arabic Fiction: An Anthology

Overview

Beginning with the late-nineteenth-century cultural resurgence and continuing through the present day, short stories and novels have given voice to the personal and historical experiences of modern Arabs. This anthology offers a rich and diverse selection of works from more than one hundred and forty prominent Arab writers of fiction. The collection reflects Arab writers' formal inventiveness as well as their intense exploration of various dimensions of modern Arab life, including the impact of modernity, the ...
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Overview

Beginning with the late-nineteenth-century cultural resurgence and continuing through the present day, short stories and novels have given voice to the personal and historical experiences of modern Arabs. This anthology offers a rich and diverse selection of works from more than one hundred and forty prominent Arab writers of fiction. The collection reflects Arab writers' formal inventiveness as well as their intense exploration of various dimensions of modern Arab life, including the impact of modernity, the rise of the oil economy, political authoritarianism, corruption, religion, poverty, and the Palestinian diaspora.

Salma Khadra Jayyusi, a renowned scholar of Arabic literature, has included short stories and excerpts from novels from authors in every Arab country. Modern Arabic Fiction contains writings stretching from the pioneering work of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century authors to the novels of Naguib Mahfouz and the stories of contemporary Arab writers. In addition to familiar names such as Mahfouz, the anthology presents excerpts from writers well known in the Arab world but just beginning to find an audience in the West, including early-twentieth-century writer Jurji Zaydan, whose historical epics influenced the moral attitudes of several generations of Arab readers; Yusuf Idris's complex and brilliant portraits of Egypt's poor; 'Abd al-Rahman Munif's searing exploration of the ecological and social impact of oil production; and Palestinian writer Ibrahim Nasrallah's bold postmodern examination of alienation in contemporary Arab life.

Jayyusi provides biographical information on the writers as well as a substantial and illuminating introduction to the development of modern Arabic fictional genres that considers the central thematic and aesthetic concerns of Arab short story writers and novelists.

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Editorial Reviews

Diane Abu-Jaber
… this is a profoundly ambitious, timely and unusual book. These are the private artistic lives and visions of contemporary Arabs. Translated, yes, but otherwise unmediated, unrestricted and rendered entirely in their own words.
— The Washington post
Al-Ahram Weekly - Ferial J. Ghazoul
Who is this incredible woman who has managed to do what has eluded entire institutions... another magnum opus.
World Literature Today - Shawkat M. Toorawn
Jayyusi has once again delivered a splendid anthology of modern Arabic writing... It is handsomely produced, a pleasure to peruse, and, yes, indispensable.
Choice
This anthology will be indispensable to those interested in Arabic and in comparative Middle Eastern literature... Essential.
Middle East Journal
Extensive.
Al-Ahram Weekly
Who is this incredible woman who has managed to do what has eluded entire institutions... another magnum opus.

— Ferial J. Ghazoul

Journal of Palestine Studies
A genuine literary treasure trove.
World Literature Today
Jayyusi has once again delivered a splendid anthology of modern Arabic writing... It is handsomely produced, a pleasure to peruse, and, yes, indispensable.

— Shawkat M. Toorawn

Washington Post Book World - Diana Abu-Jaber
[It] is a marvelous report on life in the contemporary Arab world told in a bold and lively...voices.
Times Literary Supplement - Paul Starkey
Foremost among those who have attempted to widen interest [in Arabic literature] is the Palestinian scholar Salma Khadra Jayyusi.
Washington Post Book World
[It] is a marvelous report on life in the contemporary Arab world told in a bold and lively...voices.

— Diana Abu-Jaber

Choice

This anthology will be indispensable to those interested in Arabic and in comparative Middle Eastern literature... Essential.

Times Literary Supplement
Foremost among those who have attempted to widen interest [in Arabic literature] is the Palestinian scholar Salma Khadra Jayyusi.

— Paul Starkey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231132541
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1064
  • Product dimensions: 6.68 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 2.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Salma Khadra Jayyusi is author of Trends and Movements in Modern Arabic Poetry and editor of Literature of Modern Arabia, as well as Modern Arabic Poetry, Modern Palestinian Literature, and The Legacy of Muslim Spain. The winner of many prestigious awards, including the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural and Scientific Achievement Award, the Edward Said Award for Career Excellence, and an award from the State of Kuwait for distinguished services to Arab and Islamic culture, Jayyusi is the founder and director of East-West Nexus, dedicated to scholarly work on Arabic civilization and cultural achievements, and the Project of Translation from Arabic (PROTA).

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction
1 The Pioneers
2 Short Stories
3 Selections from Novels

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