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The Arabian Nights by
Call Number: PJ7715 .M87 2008
The present new translation by Husain Haddawy is of the Muhsin Mahdi edition, the definitive Arabic edition of a fourteenth-century Syrian manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, which is the oldest surviving version of the tales and is considered to be the most authentic. This early version is without the embellishments and additions that appear in later Indian and Egyptian manuscripts, on which all previous English translations were based.--Book Description
Husain Haddawy was born and grew up in Baghdad, taught English and comparative literature at various American universities, wrote art criticism, and is now living in retirement in Thailand."--W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Muhsin Mahdi, born June 21, 1926, in Karbala, Iraq, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, 1954 and did postdoctoral study at University of Paris, 1954-55, and University of Freiburg im Breisgau, 1954-55. He was a writer and professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at various universities. Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2002.
The Conference of the Birds by
Call Number: PK6451.F4 M2813 2011
"Composed in the twelfth century in northeastern Iran, Farid Attar’s great mystical poem is among the most significant of all works of Persian literature. A marvelous, allegorical rendering of the Islamic doctrine of Sufism, it describes the pilgrimage of the world’s birds in search of their ideal king, the Simorgh bird, and the arduous journey they take to reach him. This masterly translation preserves the poem’s rhymed couplet form and nuances of language."--Book Description
"Farid ud-Din Attar
was born in Nishapur, in north-east Iran. There is disagreement over the exact dates of his birth and death but several sources confirm that he lived about 100 years. The name Attar means herbalist or druggist, which was his profession. It is said that he saw as many as 500 patients a day in his shop, prescribing herbal remedies which he prepared himself, and he wrote his poetry while attending to his patients.
About thirty works by Attar survive, but his masterpiece is the Mantic at-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds
)."--Poetry Chaikhana: Sacred Poetry from Around the World
brings a unique array of gifts to the challenges of translating Hafez and his contemporaries. In his own right, he is a poet of great technical accomplishment and emotional depth. He is also the foremost English-speaking scholar of medieval Persian poetry now working in the West."--Mage Publishers.
Dreams of Trespass by
Call Number: CT2678.M47 A3 1995
"In 1940, harems still abounded in Fez, Morocco. They weren't the opulent, bejeweled harems of Scherezade, but the domestic sprawl of extended families encamped around a walled courtyard that marked the edges of women's lives. Though born into this tightly sheltered world, Fatima Mernissi is constantly urged by her rebellious mother to spring beyond it. Worried that Mernissi is too shy and quiet, her mother tells her, 'You must learn to scream and protest, just the way you learned to walk and talk.' In Dreams of Trespass, an enjoyable weave of memory and fantasy, it is clear that Mernissi's fertile imagination lets her slip back and forth through the gates that trapped her restive mother. She spins amiable, often improbable tales of the rigidly proper city harem in Fez and the contrasting freedoms of the country harem where her grandmother Yakima lives." --Amazon.com Review
Fatima Mernissi (b. 1940) was a Moroccan sociologist and writer. Born in Fez to a middle-class family, Mernissi studied at the Mohammed V University in Rabat and later went to Paris, where she worked briefly as a journalist. She pursued her graduate education in the United States and in 1973 obtained a PhD in sociology from Brandeis University. As one of the best known Arab-Muslim feminists, Mernissi 's influence extends beyond a narrow circle of intellectuals. She is a recognized public figure in her own country and abroad, especially in France, where she is well known in feminist circles."--Oxford Islamic Studies Online.
Call Number: PR6051.B68 M56 2005
"Leila Aboulela's American debut is a provocative, timely, and engaging novel about a young Muslim woman -- once privileged and secular in her native land and now impoverished in London -- gradually embracing her orthodox faith. With her Muslim hijab and down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich families whose houses she cleans in London. Twenty years ago, Najwa, then at university in Khartoum, would never have imagined that one day she would be a maid. An upper-class Westernized Sudanese, her dreams were to marry well and raise a family. But a coup forces the young woman and her family into political exile in London. Soon orphaned, she finds solace and companionship within the Muslim community. Then Najwa meets Tamer, the intense, lonely younger brother of her employer. They find a common bond in faith and slowly, silently, begin to fall in love."--Book Description
was born in 1964 in Cairo, to an Egyptian mother and a Sudanese father. She moved to Sudan at the age of six weeks and lived in Khartoum continuously until 1987. Leila learnt English at the Khartoum American School and at the Sisters’ School, a private Catholic High school. She graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Khartoum specializing in Statistics. She then travelled to Britain where she was awarded a M.Sc. and an MPhil in Statistics from the London School of Economics." Also see Wikipedia
Call Number: PL248.P34 K36513 2011
"...acclaimed Turkish author Pamuk delivers a nearly impenetrable political novel. After eight years spent living in exile in Frankfurt, Germany, the poet Ka returns to the isolated town of Kars during a historic blizzard. Cut off from the outside world, the town's ingrown tensions are thrown into sharp relief as Ka investigates the epidemic of suicides occurring among devoutly religious schoolgirls who prefer to take their own lives rather than remove their head scarves. The chaos of a military coup and Ka's sudden, obsessive love for an old, very beautiful friend contribute to the poet's sudden burst of creativity after a years-long bout of writer's block."--Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist
Ferit Orhan Pamuk
, Turkish novelist, screenwriter, and lecturer, was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1952. In 2006, he became the second youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.
About This Theme
"From formal poetry and the oral tradition of public storytelling to the more contemporary forms of memoir and the novel, many Muslim authors have posed questions about Muslim piety and identity. What does it mean to be a good Muslim? What does Islam require of women and men? How should a good Muslim behave within society? Does Islam promote specific political norms or practices?
The readings for this theme can be seen as literary reflections on questions such as these. Islam has long provided a source of inspiration through which Muslims experience, understand, and guide their everyday lives. In the works featured here, answers to these questions differ from one reading to the other, as each reflects the society in which it is written. Together they reveal how Muslims living at different times and in different places have interpreted Islamic traditions to meet their distinctive cultural realities and spiritual needs.”
Literary Reflections was developed by Leila Golestaneh Austin, Professorial Lecturer in Global Theory and History and Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she also directs the Cultural Conversations project at the Foreign Policy Institute and co-directs the Global Politics and Religion Initiative.