In eighteenth-century Palestine, on the shores of Galilee’s Lake Tiberias, visionary political and military leader Dahir al-Umar al-Zaydani undertakes a journey toward the greatest aim anyone could hope to achieve in his day: the establishment of an autonomous Arab state. To do so he must challenge the rule of the greatest power in the world at the time—the Ottoman Empire—while translating the ideals of human dignity, justice, and religious tolerance into concrete daily realities. In this compelling story of love and loss, victory and defeat, loyalty and betrayal, award-winning poet and novelist Ibrahim Nasrallah, author of the Arabic Booker shortlisted Time of White Horses, once again brings Palestinian history alive with a set of characters and events both real and imagined to capture the essence of a rich and dramatic epoch in the turbulent annals of a land that has been fought over for millennia.
The Lanterns of the King of Galilee
A Novel of 18th-Century Palestine
Translated byNancy Roberts
For sale worldwide
Ibrahim Nasrallah was born to Palestinian parents in Jordan in 1954, and grew up in a refugee camp there. After working as a teacher and a journalist, in 1996 he became vice-president of Darat al-Funun, Jordan’s most prominent art and cultural center. He has written fifteen collections of poetry and eleven novels as well as works of literary criticism. He is also a painter and photographer.
To read an article by Nasrallah entitled 'Writing Palestinian Historical Fiction' (December 22, 2012, Culture+Conflict), click here.
A Libyan Novel
Ibrahim al-Koni Translated by William M. Hutchins 10.99
A Libyan NovelIbrahim al-Koni
Translated byWilliam M. Hutchins
A Tuareg youth ventures into trackless desert on a life-threatening quest to find the father he remembers only as a shadow from his childhood, but the spirit world frustrates and tests his resolve. For a time, he is rewarded with the Eden of a lost oasis, but eventually, as new settlers crowd in, its destiny mimics the rise of human civilization. Over the sands and the years, the hero is pursued by a lover who matures into a sibyl-like priestess. The Libyan Tuareg author Ibrahim al-Koni, who has earned a reputation as a major figure in Arabic literature with his many novels and collections of short stories, has used Tuareg folklore about Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld, to craft a novel that is both a lyrical evocation of the desert’s beauty and a chilling narrative in which thirst, incest, patricide, animal metamorphosis, and human sacrifice are more than plot devices. The novel concludes with Tuareg sayings collected by the author in his search for the historical Anubis from matriarchs and sages during trips to Tuareg encampments, and from inscriptions in the ancient Tifinagh script in caves and on tattered manuscripts. In this novel, fantastic mythology becomes universal, specific, and modern....read more
An Egyptian Novel
Hamdy el-Gazzar Translated by Humphrey Davies 10.99
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Translated by Humphrey Davies
As a fourteen-year-old, Nasir was entranced by his father’s gift of a camera, finding in it the means both to possess beauty and to assert himself. Now a hack working for state television, Nasir meets Fatin, an independent woman older than himself who has escaped a suffocating marriage and is secure in taking what she wants from life. An affair begins that quickly pulls Nasir into a whirlwind of incandescent erotic and emotional obsession. In a world of superficiality, materialism, violence, and sexual hysteria seen through the unforgiving lens of his camera, Nasir’s life is in limbo. A yearning for escape and a fear of loneliness propel him into a relationship in which he is at once enraptured and non-committal. The resolution of this volatile mix lies in a violent confrontation between repulsion and desire. Black Magic was awarded the prestigious Sawiris Foundation Prize in Egyptian Literature in 2006....read more
Betool Khedairi Translated by Muhayman Jamil 10.99
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Absent tells the story of Dalal, a young Iraqi woman living with the childless aunt and uncle who raised her. Dalal and her neighbors try to maintain normal lives, despite the crippling effect of bombings and international sanctions resulting from the first Gulf War. By turns affectionate, wry, and darkly comic, Absent paints a moving portrait of people struggling to get by in impossible circumstances. Upstairs, the fortune-teller Umm Mazin offers her customers cures for their physical and romantic ailments; below, Saad the hairdresser attends to a dwindling number of female customers; and on the second floor, the nurse Ilham dreams of her long-lost French mother to escape the grim realities she sees in the children’s ward at the hospital. With memories of happier times during the “Days of Plenty” of her childhood, Dalal falls in love for the first time against a background of surprise arrests, personal betrayals, and a crumbling social fabric that turns neighbors into informants. Tightly crafted and skillfully told, Absent is a haunting portrait of life under sanctions, the fragile emotional ties between individuals, and, ultimately, the resilience of the human spirit....read more
As Doha Said
Bahaa Taher Translated by Peter Daniel 16.99
Translated byPeter Daniel
In Egypt a new era has dawned, but the dawn has taken an ominous turn. President Gamal Abdel Nasser has just proclaimed the first in a series of nationalization decrees, the stock exchange has shut down, and its parking attendant, Sayyid, is staring at penury. Across the street, the office of the Ministry’s Supervisory Board of Administrative Organization is engulfed in an eerie silence, and the narrator, one of the two remaining fulltime occupants of that nearly defunct government office, has fallen desperately in love with the other, Doha—forceful, erudite, and, a complete enigma, with a spiritual bond to the Egyptian goddess Aset. In this sophisticated, richly textured novel the author explores such themes as apathy and despair, courage and self-sacrifice, ambition and temptation, disillusionment and political faith, and, above all, commitment and betrayal....read more