Yesterday, novelist Rabih Alameddine asked, on Twitter, for short-story suggestions for a course he’ll be teaching:
They must be “by writers from Middle East/North Africa region? Or maybe about the area?” And Alameddine must want to teach them.
1) Yusuf Idris, “All on a Summer’s Night.” (In The Essential Yusuf Idris, ed. and trans. Denys Johnson-Davies.)
Justification: Idris, for all his shortcomings, was a literary giant, and short stories were a place he did some of his best work. This particular story isn’t one of his most anthologized, but it always catches me up at the end, when the future of these boys — who’d gone walking into the city in search of illusions — comes crashing down on them. It has a coming-of-age aspect that should particularly catch on young readers, and Johnson-Davies does a fine job with the shifting registers.
2) Mohamed Mustagab, “The Battle of the…
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