A Mansion in the Sky and Other Short Stories (Cmes Modern Middle East Literature in Translation Series)

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A Year in Reading: Lorraine Adams


A Mansion in the Sky by Goli Taraghi: Taraghi is one of Iran’s most acclaimed literary practitioners with a wide audience. In the United States and Europe, however, she is virtually unknown. This slim selection of short stories is magnetic, drawing you into Iranian lives in the most intimate and distilled way. You won’t find a hint of politics or religion or disputation about the veil. Taraghi’s work is clean and moving, anchored in the exceptional instances when the concrete world slip-slides into indisputable truths.

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih: Sudanese novelist Salih, acclaimed by African and Arab writers, died last year without an American publisher of this novel, his masterpiece. Three months later New York Review Books, champion of overlooked texts, finally published this edition. The novel’s central figure, Mustafa Sa’eed, is one of literature’s greatest contradictory creations, a hyper-sexualized flag bearer of intellection, an economist once celebrated in Europe who, as the novel opens, is reduced to farming oranges and watermelons in a small Sudanese village. Why he has come to this pass, and, who he really might
be–combine into a transfixing story.

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