THE LAST WAR by Ana Menendez

If you become numb to the conflict of constant war, does it prevent you from dealing with your own personal battles? In THE LAST WAR, by Ana Menendez, Flash and Brando get paid to travel and document war – he the “Wonderboy” journalist, she the photographer/wife that follows in his shadow.

August 10, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Turkey, World Lit

THE PROOF OF THE HONEY by Salwa Al Neimi

The nameless seductress of THE PROOF OF HONEY declares, “In my life I have been addicted to beds and stories.” She has studied the classical Arabic erotica of al-Suyuti and al-Nafzawi, as well the Kama Sutra and Western works by Casanova, Henry Miller, and Georges Bataille. She also makes wild and saucy claims of having taken numerous lovers of both genders. These then form the bases of her addictions and a discernable core to her wandering writings about sex in the Near East.

August 8, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, Iran, Translated, Unique Narrative, World Lit

MORNING AND EVENING TALK by Naguib Mahfouz

Written in 1987, this last entry in the Cairo series by Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz is not a novel in the traditional sense. The book has no beginning, middle, and end, and no real plot. There is no standard chronology or strong characters who develop fully during the action. In a bold experiment, Mahfouz uses the traditional Arab biographical dictionary as his structural model for the book.

August 7, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Egypt, Literary, Nobel Prize for Literature, Translated, Unique Narrative, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN by Mahbod Seraji

ROOFTOPS OF TEHRAN is both a bittersweet coming of age tale as well as a story of the tragic loss of innocence.

July 17, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Iran, World Lit

THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING by Alaa Al Aswany

THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING is a true literary blockbuster—“the best-selling novel in the Middle East for two years and the inspiration for the biggest budget movie ever produced in Egypt,” according to National Geographic. American readers coming to this novel will find it a vibrant and descriptive primer illuminating the various forces in contemporary Egypt that affect its current political climate. It is also a thoughtful analysis of why certain forces are as influential as they are today.

July 16, 2009 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Egypt, Literary, Middle East, World Lit

THE BLUE NOTEBOOK by James A. Levine

THE BLUE NOTEBOOK is a beautify written novel about the grimmest of subjects – child prostitution. Were it not for author James A. Levine’s exquisite prose and his remarkable protagonist, nine year-old Batuk Ramasdeen, a poem of a girl, this story might be too sad to read. However, Batuk, a precocious, ever optimistic little girl, wins the reader’s heart from page one and makes The Blue Notebook very hard to put down. At 210 pages, I read it in two sittings.

July 7, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, India-Pakistan, Literary, Reading Guide, Unique Narrative, World Lit