A recommended selection of books forthcoming in early 2015:
The Book of the Sultan’s Seal: Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars, by Youssef Rakha, trans. Paul Starkey. Interlink.
A ground-breaking title. From the publisher:
It’s hard to imagine a debut more thrilling than Youssef Rakha’s groundbreaking The Book of the Sultan’s Seal. The novel is made up of nine chapters, each centered on a drive our hero, Mustafa Çorbacı, takes around greater Cairo—city of post-9/11 Islam. In a series of visions, Çorbacı encounters the spirit of the last Ottoman sultan and embarks on a mission the sultan assigns him. Çorbacı’s trials shed light on the contemporary Arab Muslim’s desperation for a sense of identity: The Book of the Sultan’s Seal is both a suspenseful, erotic, riotous novel and an urgent, unparalleled examination of accounts of Muslim demise.
Oh, Salaam! by Najwa Barakat; trans. Luke Leafgren. Interlink.
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