Books Reviews & Authors in the News


‘Engaging Books: Hoopoe selections on new fiction from the Middle East’

Jadaliyya features three forthcoming Hoopoe novels—The Critical Case of a Man Called K by Aziz Mohammed, translated by Humphrey Davis; My First and Only Love by Sahar Khalifeh, translated by Aida Bamia; and The Book Smuggler by Omaima Al-Khamis, translated by Sarah Enany.
Jadaliyya, Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI), March 11

As academics begin paying more attention to the complexities of South–South migration, this book shines as a strong case of a critical, innovative, and timely contribution.”—Gerasimos Tsourapas, senior lecturer in Middle East Politics, University of Birmingham, Mashriq & Mahjar 9, no. 1 (2021)

Migrant Dreams: Egyptian Workers in the Gulf States by Samuli Schielke (AUC Press, 2020)



“This is a superb book set in the Islamic world of the early eleventh century. . . . It is a wonderful tale, full of colour, adventures and religious and political ideas, and the first book on my site by Saudi woman.”The Modern Novel blog, March 15

The Book Smuggler by Omaima Al-Khamis, translated by Sarah Enany (Hoopoe, forthcoming)



“Aidan Dodson presents an excellent up-to-date popular account of Rameses III’s reign, lavishly documented with a selection of colour photographs.”—Peter James, Palestine Exploration Quarterly, March 15

Rameses III King of Egypt: His Life and Afterlife by Aidan Dodson (AUC Press, 2019)



Podcast with Jason Thompson, author of Wonderful Things: A History of Egyptology, a three-volume history published by AUC Press, in which he speaks to Samuel Pfister, collections manager at the Badè Museum in California’s East Bay, New Books Network, March 19



An amazing book . . . peppered with satire and comic moments . . . [you] understand that there is so much more to this extraordinary country [Syria] than just war.”—Sanam Shantyaei, Middle East Matters, France24, March 30

The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor by Rana Haddad (Hoopoe, 2018)



“The “inside-out” framing situates the reader within the walls of landmarks like the Café Riche, Hotel Windsor and Ibn Tulun Mosque. Naylor’s historical commentary and practical advice on how to sail on a felucca or haggle in the alleyways of Khan al-Khalili complement the experiential quality in Doriana Dimitrova’s photography, captured over a year.”—J. Trevor Williams, Aramco magazine, March 2021

Cairo Inside Out by Trevor Naylor, photographs by Doriana Dimitrova
(AUC Press, paperback edition 2019)

Khalifeh transcends the local struggles of the Palestinian protagonists to the more universal … If there is an Arabic novelist who deserves the Nobel Prize, after Naguib Mahfouz, it is Sahar Khalifeh… I highly recommend.”—Camelia Suleiman, Michigan State University, World Literature Today magazine, Spring 2021

Khalifeh’s narrative style is sensitive, thrifty, and transparent… International Women’s Month is acknowledging the work of three women: herself, the translator, and Najat El-Taji El-Khairy, the cover artist. Well done, Hoopoe!”—Carol Khoury, Asymptote, March 15

Khalifeh tells a superb story about love gained and lost during a period of war and oppression.”—John Alvey, The Modern Novel blog, March 26

[The] writing is political and artistic. Political in the sense that it deals with national politics and sexual politics. At the same time, it is full of humane characters and enjoys a high amount of humor . . . meaningful and beautiful.”—Amelia Smith, Middle East Monitor, April 2

My First and Only Love by Sahar Khalifeh, translated by Aida Bamia, (Hoopoe, 2021)


It is an important contribution to the literature on tasawwuf in Egypt . . . [L]arge scope, approachable language, and clear style.”—Ida Sofie Nitter, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Volume 53, Issue 1

The Mulid of al-Sayyid al-Badawi of Tanta: Egypt’s Legendary Sufi Festival by Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen (AUC Press, 2019)


[T]he most objective and well-balanced summation of her career to date . . . . This volume is well-produced and sumptuously illustrated and a fine addition to this welcome biography series.”—Morris Bierbrier, Egyptian Archaeology, Issue No 58 Spring 2021

Nefertiti: Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt, Her Life and Afterlife by Aidan Dodson (AUC Press, 2020)



A valuable snapshot of the ruins in the 1820s before clearance and in some case, destruction.”—Morris Bierbrier, Egyptian Archaeology, Issue No 58 Spring 2021

Description of Egypt, Notes and Views in Egypt and Nubia, 1825–26 by Edward William Lane, edited and with an introduction by Jason Thompson (AUC Press, paperback edition 2020)


Among Melanie Magidow’s ‘Favorite MENA Books Read in the Past Year’:
A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou (Hoopoe, 2021) “A delightful mix of lighthearted comedy and weighty issues of identity and history in Turkey. A brand new debut – I hope she writes more books!”

The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya by Rana Haddad (Hoopoe, 2018) “How many novels can you name that are set in modern Syria? How many of those are intentionally funny? Not many, right? If you wish you could find one, then you need to read this book! Focuses on a young woman growing up a little apart from everyone around her, noticing visual details and personality quirks. Like a Syrian Amélie. A tantalizing comedy of errors. If you liked Persepolis by M. Satrapi, you might like this, and vice versa.”

Marhaba, Language Expertise, Melanie Magidow, April 13


Easily the best introduction to the history of modern Arab visual culture on the market today.”—N.A. Mansour, PhD candidate at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies, The Brooklyn Rail magazine, April 21

Jadaliyya interviews Bahia Shehab and Haytham Nawar, April 7

A History of Arab Graphic Design by Bahia Shehab and Haytham Nawar (AUC Press, 2021)




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