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Understanding The Middle East Book Club

Understanding The Middle East group meets on the third Monday of  the month at 7 p.m.  It has the purpose of exploring the rich culture of the Middle East through literature (poetry, fiction, memoirs). They do include readings of nonfiction as they try to gain an understanding of history and current events.  Although they read writers from the west, the goal is to discover the many talented authors from middle eastern countries who may not be well known in the U.S.  Even though discussions of politics cannot always be avoided, this is not the focus.

For more information, contact Tina Martin.  New members are always welcome.

We do not meet in December.


  • February 20: More Than I Love My Life by David Grossman
  • March 20: Lebanon: A Country in Fragments by Andrew Arson (Part 1)
  • April 17: Lebanon: A Country in Fragments by Andrew Arson (Part 2)
  • May 15: Year of the Elephant: A Moroccan Woman’s Journey Towards Independence by Leila Abouzeid
More Than I Love My Life: A novel (Vintage International) By David Grossman, Jessica Cohen (Translated by) Cover Image
By David Grossman, Jessica Cohen (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593312599
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Vintage - July 12th, 2022

INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE • A remarkable novel of suffering, love, and healing—the story of three generations of women on an unlikely journey to a Croatian island and a secret that needs to be told—from the internationally best-selling author of To the End of the Land

Lebanon: A Country in Fragments By Andrew Arsan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781787383654
Availability: Ships from warehouse to store in 3-6 business days
Published: Hurst & Co. - May 1st, 2020

Lebanon seems a country in the grip of permanent crisis. In recent years it has suffered blow after blow, from Rafiq Hariri's assassination in 2005, to the 2006 July War, to the current Syrian conflict, which has brought a million refugees streaming into the country.

Year of the Elephant: Revised Edition (CMES Modern Middle East Literatures in Translation) By Leila Abouzeid, Barbara McKean Parmenter (Translated by), Barbara Harlow (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Leila Abouzeid, Barbara McKean Parmenter (Translated by), Barbara Harlow (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780292721722
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Ctr for Middle Eastern Studies UT-Austin - September 1st, 2009

The novella and eight short stories that constitute Year of the Elephant—an allusion to a battle described in the Qur'an—serve as an eloquent representation of life in the wake of Morocco's successful struggle for independence from French occupation.

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