The Complete Trilogy
by Radwa Ashour
Translated by Kay Heikkinen
Foreword by Marina Warner
A “rich and evocative” (Booklist) multigenerational epic set at the collapse of Muslim rule in Medieval Spain, available now for the first time in a new, complete translation
It is 1492, and the keys to Granada, the last Muslim state in the Spanish Peninsula, have been handed over to the Christian king and queen: the final vestiges of Islamic rule in Europe are swept away.
As the triumphant new masters of Granada burn books, Abu Jaafar, a bookseller by trade, quietly moves his rich library out of town, while preparing for the marriage of his granddaughter Saleema to his apprentice Saad. The tangled lives of Abu Jaafar’s family, his descendants, and his community bear witness to the vanquishing of Muslim and Jewish life: confiscations, forced conversions, and expulsions.
Radwa Ashour’s sweeping trilogy, set over one hundred years against the backdrop of the great historical events of sixteenth-century Europe, tells the story of those who remained in Andalusia, of the individuals who struggled to maintain faith and hope in a possible future. It narrates a community’s effort to comprehend what has happened to them, of their valiant but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to resist the destruction of their identity.
Named a top literary work of the twentieth century by the Arab Writers’ Union, Granada is now available in English in its entirety for the first time. All three novels—Granada, Maryama and The Departure—are brilliantly retranslated in this outstanding new paperback edition.
Radwa Ashour (1946–2014) is a highly acclaimed Egyptian writer and scholar. She is the author of more than fifteen works of fiction, memoir, and criticism, including Granada (AUC Press, 2008) and The Woman from Tantoura (AUC Press, 2014), and was a recipient of the Constantine Cavafy Prize for Literature and the prestigious Owais Prize for Fiction.
Kay Heikkinen is a translator and academic who holds a PhD from Harvard University. She was previously Ibn Rushd Lecturer of Arabic at the University of Chicago. Among other books, she has translated Naguib Mahfouz’s In the Time of Love, Radwa Ashour’s The Woman From Tantoura, and Huzama Habayeb's Velvet, for which she was awarded the 2020 Saif-Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Named A Top 100 Literary Work of the Twentieth Century by the Arab Writers Union
PRAISE FOR RADWA ASHOUR:
"Radwa Ashour was a powerful voice among Egyptian writers of the postwar generation and a writer of exceptional integrity and courage."—The Guardian
“An important writer whose exemplary work we need more of in English”—The Independent
“Ashour writes beautifully, balancing her own talent for evocative.”—India Stoughton, The Daily Star
“One of the most influential writers in Arab region”—Egypt Independent