Readers always search for a skilled guide to pick good books to read and to enjoy. Therefore, SEE News provides its readers with the selections of the Best 100 Arabic Novels in the 20th Century according to Arabic Writers Union.
Cairo Trilogy – Naguib Mahfoz
It is one of the most celebrated Arabic works, and it is one of the World Literature canon selections. Through these three novels, Mahfoz attempts to observe the transformation of Egyptian society through ages and successive revolutions by focusing on the complicated character of Al Sayyed Ahmed Abdel Gawad and his scattered family.
Men in the Sun – Ghassan Kanafani
This name is an extraordinary name in the history of Arabic literature. Kanafani is the main portrayer of his country’s occupation and the main documenter of the tragedies of his people. In this novel, the author traces the uncertain future of three refugees and the temptations they faced after the Israeli occupation of their homeland, Palestine.
Rama and the Dragon – Edward Al Kharrat
Al Kharrat is well known for his heavy employment of symbols and complex discourse. So, the reader can observe the man’s journey for seeking answers about the purpose of life and the meaning of love.
Zayni Barakat – Gamal Al Ghitani
The story of resistance and survival! This novel touches upon a critical historical phase in the history of Egypt which is the Ottoman occupation of the country and the fall of Mamlluki’s reign.
No One Sleeps in Alexandria – Ibrahim Abdel Maguid
It is the first part of the Alexandria Trilogy. It sheds the light on the shining bright Alexandria and its cosmopolitan heat, on the other hand, it narrates the status of the city amid World War II.
Love in Exile – Bahaa Taher
The story of losing hope and land. The meaning of exile is not only the physical one but also a psychological one. Here, the author focuses on the shatter-ness that hit the Arabic world mainly: Nakba, and Naksa.
Season of Migration to the North – Tayeb Salih
It is listed on the top of the most read Arabic works, and it is still studied heavily in the European and international departments of English as a part of World Literature and Comparative Studies stuff. The story of a mysterious man who manages to settle in a poor Sudani village without revealing his tragic past.
Yahya Haqqi – The Lamp of Umm Hashim
It’s one of the most influential novels in the history of the Arabic novel. It narrates the story of a man who aims to break the wrong beliefs of his society.
Gate of the Sun – Elias Khoury
It is a story of leaving and return, leaving the holy lands, and escaping to refugees camp. It is the story of the inverted odyssey.
Granada – Radwa Ashour
The great author Radwa Ashour decides to observe the heaviness of Palestinean Nakba and the feelings of fleeing Palestinians in another model which is the fall of the Islamic reign in Andalusia.
The Nightingale Prayer – Taha Hussein
Hussein manages to observe the earliest notions of a rebellious young woman, Hanadi who decides to take revenge on the society who is responsible for his sister’s death.
There is a Man in Our House – Ihsan Abdel Quddous
It sheds the light on the political activity of the Egyptian students during the English occupation of Egypt. And how the Egyptian society is supporting the young rebellious Egyptian students.
The Open Door – Latifa Al Zayyat
It is one of the strongest Feminist novels in the history of Arabic literature. Through the Novel, Al Zayyat touches upon the temptations the Egyptian girl faces in college, home, society, and the streets.