The Real and the Imaginary: The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi

As a war narrative enveloped in magic, love, and hope, The Baghdad Clock adds depth to the burgeoning genre of postcolonial Iraqi novels.

Most Anticipated Books of 2020 (May-September)

Without a doubt, 2020 has been a testing time for all of us across the globe. Fortunately for us book … More

A Feminism of One’s Own: Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat

Alifa Rifaat’s stories are situated within an Islamic framework that allows her to create a feminism of her own. Since Islam and empowerment are often misguidedly placed in contradiction to one another, it’s easy to see why Rifaat is not a household name.

Van Gogh on Hope & Melancholy

“So instead of giving way to despair, I took the way of active melancholy as long as I had strength for activity, or in other words, I preferred the melancholy that hopes and aspires and searches to the one that despairs, mournful and stagnant.”

Author Spotlight: Carley Mercedes

“…But every once in a while, I’ll read a book that glorifies problematic relationship behaviors such as manipulation or even stalking. I don’t ever want to write a book that encourages women to seek out unhealthy, or even dangerous, relationships, so I focus on creating relationships that are healthy.”

The Year of the Middle Eastern Reading Challenge + Unapologetically Muslim Reading Challenge? Yes, please.

This may all seem too idealistic to some but nonetheless conveys a crucial message about the role of the artist and what cultural and literary representations can offer in the ongoing debates about the so-called “problem” of Muslims in the Anglophone North Atlantic.

George Eliot & Virginia Woolf on Happiness

“Happiness,” Woolf writes, “is in the quiet, ordinary things. A table, a chair, a book with a paper-knife stuck between the pages. And the petal falling from the rose, and the light flickering as we sit silent.”