From intimate memoirs to dystopian fiction to inspiring stories of self-discovery for kids and teens, check out these must-listens by Arab authors.
In this starkly illuminating and impassioned audiobook, Pulitzer PrizeÂÂâ€“finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship.
â€śThe challenges Lalami presents are softened by her gentle yet insistent presentation. Her almost hypnotic delivery leaves a lasting impact even after she has finished.”–AudioFile Magazine
Home is Not a Country, a novel-in-verse, is a mesmerizing journey of family, identity, and finding yourself in the most unexpected places is filled with lyrical beauty and stunning strength.
â€śMovingly unravels themes of belonging, Islamophobia, and the interlocking oppressions thrust upon immigrant women.â€ť â€”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
An Odyssey Honor audiobook and National Book Award Finalist, this story is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee. Omar and his younger brother have spent most of their lives in a refugee camp in Kenya. When Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future…but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day. Learn more about the narrators in Meet the Cast: When Stars are Scattered.
In 2011, Marwan Hisham and his two friends joined the first protests of the Arab Spring in Syria. Brothers of the Gun offers a ground-level reflection on the Syrian revolution, and a story of pragmatism and idealism, impossible violence and repression, and profound acts of courage, creativity, and hope.
â€ś…this well-narrated audio version allows listeners to conjure their own images of Hisham’s struggles and triumphs.”—AudioFile Magazine
Sarat Chestnut is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, the decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country.
â€śGraham infuses the Chestnuts’ story with urgency and heart, and he reads the official documents recounting the war with chilling veracity–making this dystopian vision of America feel all too real.â€ť–AudioFile Magazine
Leila Slimani was in her native Morocco promoting her novel AdĂ¨len when she began meeting women who confided the dark secrets of their sexual lives. In Morocco, women have only two choices: They can be wives or virgins. Sex and Lies combines testimonies with Slimani’s commentary to make a galvanizing case for a sexual revolution in the Arab world.
In her therapist’s waiting room, Suleima meets a writer named Naseem, and they begin a tense affair. But when Naseem flees Syria, he sends Suleima the manuscript of his novel. To Suleima’s surprise, she and the novel’s protagonist are uncannily similar. As she reads, Suleima has no idea what to trust–Naseem’s pages, her own memory, or nothing at all?