Best Selling Books in History & Criticism - African

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release date: Feb 01, 2006
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Gilgamesh: A New English Version
Gilgamesh is considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, but until now there has not been a version that is a superlative literary text in its own right.

Acclaimed by critics and scholars, Stephen Mitchell's version allows us to enter an ancient masterpiece as if for the first time, to see how startlingly beautiful, intelligent, and alive it is.
release date: Apr 14, 2009
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Season of Migration to the North (New York Review Books Classics)
After years of study in Europe, the young narrator of Season of Migration to the North returns to his village along the Nile in the Sudan. It is the 1960s, and he is eager to make a contribution to the new postcolonial life of his country. Back home, he discovers a stranger among the familiar faces of childhood—the enigmatic Mustafa Sa’eed. Mustafa takes the young man into his confidence, telling him the story of his own years in London, of his brilliant career as an economist, and of the series of fraught and deadly relationships with European women that led to a terrible public reckoning and his return to his native land.

But what is the meaning of Mustafa’s shocking confession? Mustafa disappears without explanation, leaving the young man—whom he has asked to look after his wife—in an unsettled and violent no-man’s-land between Europe and Africa, tradition and innovation, holiness and defilement, and man and woman, from which no one will escape unaltered or unharmed.

Season of Migration to the North is a rich and sensual work of deep honesty and incandescent lyricism. In 2001 it was selected by a panel of Arab writers and critics as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century.
release date: Oct 05, 2018
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The Code: A Blueprint to Achieving Solidarity Among Reasonable Black People
This book is my attempt to provide a literary landmark in our community for someone to quickly reference and implement a different perspective in addition to their own. The reality is that you can’t fault people for their choices if they didn’t have a reference point on how to make better decisions. Some people don’t have anyone to turn to for their guidance but written words have always had the power to speak life and purpose when they’re referenced and repeated. For some, the people that they turned to for information and guidance weren’t qualified to provide any meaningful information or advice.
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release date: Jan 15, 2011
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Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature
Ngugi describes this book as 'a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism and in teaching of literature.' East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda): EAEP
release date: Nov 01, 1999
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Arabian Love Poems: Full Arabic and English Texts (Three Continents Press)
Nizar Kabbani s poetry has been described as more powerful than all the Arab regimes put together (Lebanese Daily Star). Reflecting on his death in 1998, Sulhi Al-Wadi wrote (in Tishreen), Qabbani is like water, bread, and the sun in every Arab heart and house. In his poetry the harmony of the heart, and in his blood the melody of love. Arabian Love Poems is the first English-language collection of his work.

Kabbani was a poet of great simplicity direct, spontaneous, musical, using the language of everyday life. He was a ceaseless campaigner for women s rights, and his verses praise the beauty of the female body, and of love. He was an Arab nationalist, yet he criticized Arab dictators and the lack of freedom in the Arab world. He was the poet of Damascus: I am the Damascene. If you dissect my body, grapes and apples will come out of it. If you open my veins with your knife, you will hear in my blood the voices of those who have departed.

Frangieh and Brown s elegant translations are accompanied by the Arabic texts of the poems, penned by Kabbani especially for this collection.
release date: Jul 19, 2021
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Ifa: A Complete Divination
used acceptable condition
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release date: Jul 23, 2014
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The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African American Literary Criticism
Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "eclectic, exciting, convincing, provocative" and in The Washington Post Book World as "brilliantly original," Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s The Signifying Monkey is a groundbreaking work that illuminates the relationship between the African and African-American vernacular traditions and black literature. It elaborates a new critical approach located within this tradition that allows the black voice to speak for itself.

Examining the ancient poetry and myths found in African, Latin American, and Caribbean culture, Gates uncovers a unique system for interpretation and a powerful vernacular tradition that black slaves brought with them to the New World. Exploring the process of signification in black American life and literature by analyzing the transmission and revision of various signifying figures, Gates provides an extended analysis of what he calls the "Talking Book," a central trope in early slave narratives that virtually defines the tradition of black American letters. Gates uses this critical framework to examine several major works of African-American literature--including Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo--revealing how these works signify on the black tradition and on each other.

This superb 25th-Anniversary Edition features a new preface by Gates that reflects on the impact of the book and its relevance for today's society as well as a new afterword written by noted critic W. T. J. Mitchell.
release date: Jul 15, 2018
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Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr

Winner of the Global Humanities Translation Prize

Hallaj
is the first authoritative translation of the Arabic poetry of Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj, an early Sufi mystic. Despite his execution in Baghdad in 922 and the subsequent suppression of his work, Hallaj left an enduring literary and spiritual legacy that continues to inspire readers around the world. In Hallaj, Carl W. Ernst offers a definitive collection of 117 of Hallaj’s poems expertly translated for contemporary readers interested in Middle Eastern and Sufi poetry and spirituality.

Ernst’s fresh and direct translations reveal Hallaj’s wide range of themes and genres, from courtly love poems to metaphysical reflections on union with God. In a fascinating introduction, Ernst traces Hallaj’s dramatic story within classical Islamic civilization and early Arabic Sufi poetry. Setting himself apart by revealing Sufi secrets to the world, Hallaj was both celebrated and condemned for declaring: “I am the Truth.”

Expressing lyrics and ideas still heard in popular songs, the works of Hallaj remain vital and fresh even a thousand years after their composition. They reveal him as a master of spiritual poetry centuries before Rumi, who regarded Hallaj as a model. This unique collection makes it possible to appreciate the poems on their own, as part of the tragic legend of Hallaj, and as a formidable legacy of Middle Eastern culture.

The Global Humanities Translation Prize is awarded annually to a previously unpublished translation that strikes the delicate balance between scholarly rigor, aesthetic grace, and general readability, as judged by a rotating committee of Northwestern faculty, distinguished international scholars, writers, and public intellectuals. The Prize is organized by the Global Humanities Initiative, which is jointly supported by Northwestern University’s Buffett Institute for Global Studies and Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

release date: Sep 07, 2016
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Committed to Disillusion: Activist Writers in Egypt from the 1950s to the 1980s
Can a writer help to bring about a more just society? This question was at the heart of the movement of al-adab al-multazim, or committed literature, which claimed to dominate Arab writing in the mid-twentieth century. By the 1960s, however, leading Egyptian writers had retreated into disillusionment, producing agonized works that challenged the key assumptions of socially engaged writing. Rather than a rejection of the idea, however, these works offered reinterpretation of committed writing that helped set the stage for activist writers of the present.
David DiMeo focuses on the work of three leading writers whose socially committed fiction was adapted to the disenchantment and discontent of the late twentieth century: Naguib Mahfouz, Yusuf Idris, and Sonallah Ibrahim. Despite their disappointments with the direction of Egyptian society in the decades following the 1952 revolution, they kept the spirit of committed literature alive through a deeply introspective examination of the relationship between the writer, the public, and political power. Reaching back to the roots of this literary movement, DiMeo examines the development of committed literature from its European antecedents to its peak of influence in the 1950s, and contrasts the committed works with those of disillusionment that followed.
Committed to Disillusion is vital reading for scholars and students of Arabic literature and the modern history and politics of the Middle East.
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release date: Sep 15, 1995
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Arabian Nights and Days: A Novel
The Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz refashions the classic tales of Scheherazade into a novel written in his own imaginative, spellbinding style. Here are genies and flying carpets, Aladdin and Sinbad, Ali Baba, and many other familiar stories from the tradition of The One Thousand and One Nights, made new by the magical pen of the acknowledged dean of Arabic letters, who plumbs their depths for timeless truths.
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