The Middle East Through Novels

I have a fascination with the Middle East.  I’ve never been to an Arab country, but regardless, I find the culture incredibly intriguing and attempt to satisfy my interest through my book choices.  In addition to Prisoner of Tehran, books with Middle Eastern influence that I have indulged in so far are some of the more popular:

  

Here’s what I’ve put on my Middle Eastern reading list:

  • In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif (2000) , the story of a young, Egyptian woman’s pursuit of her PhD in English literature and the relationship with her husband (Since I’m interested in getting my PhD, I thought I could relate.)
  • My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (2001), a crime novel set in the courts of the sultan in 16th century Istanbul (Nothing like a good mystery!)
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (1997), recounts and embellishes the Biblical story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah (I’ve seen this book at Barnes and Nobel for years but just never bought it.)
  • Does my Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah (2007), a 16-year old girl embraces her faith by deciding to wear the hijab  (Love the title and the modern-day perspective)
  • One Thousand and One Nights by Anonymous, a collection of Middle Eastern folktales (A classic that I’ve wanted to read for a long time…and it’s free on Kindle!)

Looking for more internationally themed books?  Check out my Asian Inspired Reading List.  (I’m reading The Tapestries now and it is excellent!)

For more recommendations for Middle Eastern reads, check out these sites:

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4 thoughts on “The Middle East Through Novels

  1. Pingback: If You Could Study Abroad Again « Global From Home

  2. Grace

    Reading Lolita in Tehran is on my list as well! I read Orhan Pamuk’s The White Castle, which is also set in Istanbul, for a class last year and it was great. It’s a beautifully written tale (though it’s quite complicated and confusing too).

    Reply

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