• The Book of the Sultan’s Seal, Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars


    It’s hard to imagine a debut more thrilling than Youssef Rakha’s groundbreaking The Book of the Sultan’s Seal. The novel is made up of nine chapters, each centered on a drive our hero, Mustafa Çorbacı, takes around greater Cairo—city of post-9/11 Islam. In a series of visions, Çorbacı encounters the spirit of the last Ottoman sultan and embarks on a mission the sultan assigns him. Çorbacı’s trials shed light on the contemporary Arab Muslim’s desperation for a sense of identity: The Book of the Sultan’s Seal is both a suspenseful, erotic, riotous novel and an urgent, unparalleled examination of accounts of Muslim demise.

  • Always Coca-Cola


    Always Coca-Cola is the story of three very different young women attending university in Beirut: Abeer, Jana, and Yasmine. The narrator, Abeer Ward (fragrant rose, in Arabic), daughter of a conservative family, admits wryly that her name is also the name of her father’s flower shop.

  • Sarmada


    Three women struggle against the forces of society, family, and passion in a small Druze village in the south of Syria as the country itself struggles against the forces of the Ottoman Empire, the French Empire, and then the Baath. The village of Sarmada is an enchanting place, but the people who live there don’t much notice it.

  • The Book of the Sultan’s Sea...

  • Always Coca-Cola...

  • Sarmada...


Other voices


“Sarmada”: The Essential Novel of the Syrian Spring (The New Yorker)

Sarmada, By Fadi Azzam, trans. Adam Talib (The Independent)

Sarmada reviewed by Elayne Clift from New York Journal of Books

Review of Sarmada by Metro

Sarmada review by Tina Jackson

“Sarmada”: The Essential Novel of the Syrian Spring

Sarmada, By Fadi Azzam. ROBIN YASSIN-KASSAB

In Sarmada. Myrna Nader

Sarmada. By Mark Staniforth

Fascinating performance of Fadi Azzam’s novel. Loai El Hennawy

‘Sarmada’ fantasy, passion, violence. By Lauren Khater

Sarmada, By Dina

Sarmada, By Angie


Always Coca-Cola

Defining (a Lebanese) woman: Alexandra Chrieteh’s Always Coca-Cola

Praise for Always Coca-Cola


The Book of the Sultan’s Seal, Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars

Youssef Rakha Interview in The Kenyon Review

A Conversation With Youssef Rakha by Hilary Plum

Praise for Youssef Rakha Novel