Publisher Spotlight: The Library of Arabic Literature (NYU Press)

The Library of Arabic Literature is published by NYU University and is dedicated to bringing the classics of the Arabic world to English-speaking audiences all around the world. Focusing on titles from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, the idea behind the Library of Arabic Literature is to showcase clear translations from a wide range of works, from collections on scientific thinking and satire to famous fictional texts and political treatises. Directed by a group of distinguished global scholars, the Library seeks to stoke not only a passing interest in the world of Arabic literature, but also to inspire the next generation of scholars and students.

Spotlighted Works:

The Epistle of Forgiveness: Volumes One and Two by Abu l-‘Ala al-Ma’arri translated by Geert Jan Van Gelder

The Epistle of Forgiveness

In this meandering rebuttal penned a millennium ago, Geert Jan Van Gelder presents the ornate writings of one of the great works of classic Arabian literature. The Syrian writer Abu l-’Ala al-Ma’arri’s biting response to Ibn al-Qari, which ranges from hypothetical conversations with great figures of the past to funny parables and conversations with the Devil, showcases the maverick writer’s wit and radical thinking in the first complete translation of the work into any language.

What ‘Isa ibn Hisham Told Us by Muhammad al-Muwaylihi translated by Roger Allen and foreword by Maria Golia

What Isa ibn Hisham told us

An important work for a number of areas, What ‘Isa ibn Hisham Told Us charges into an era when Egypt was a British territory and European Imperialism stretched across the globe. The eponymous narrator and his friend take a long, hard look at the changes enacted in society during the 19th and early 20th century, from the clash of identities from adopting westernized values in Cairo to the World’s Fair of 1900 when all of the past century is put on display.

Classical Arabic Literature: A Library of Arabic Literature Anthology selected and translated by Geert Jan Van Gelder

Classical Arabic Literature

A wide-ranging anthology stretching from the pre-Islamic world to the 18th century, Geert Jan Van Gelder has compiled a delectable selection of works that illustrate areas of the Arabic literary pantheon that are sometimes overlooked. He styles the collection as a library, and the variety of topics and styles surely showcases it. From love poems and literary criticism to comedy and fairy tales, there’s something for everyone in this library.

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