• The Ninety-Ninth Floor


    ’To be a Palestinian, either you forget your roots and deny your origins in order to advance in life, or you remain a bullet in the barrel of a rifle waiting to be fired.’ So says Majd, a Palestinian living in New York, working on the 99th floor of a sleek office building, and struggling to keep at bay memories of the 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon.

  • 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 Ninety-Ninth Floor...

  • The Book of the Sultan’s Sea...

  • Always Coca-Cola...

  • Sarmada...

Swallow Editions Authors

Fadi Azzam
Alexandra Chreiteh
Youssef Rakha
Jana Fawaz El Hassan


Swallow Editions

for the Readers of Arabic Literature Across the World

The collection aims to be free of tedium, oil and dictatorship.

Founded and edited by Rafik Schami in close cooperation with the best publishers and translators of literary fiction. The series editor appreciates and reads both new as well as classical Arabic poetry for his own personal pleasure, but his long professional experience qualifies him to judge and select works of prose rather than poetry and has therefore chosen fiction as the focus of his collection.

This initiative wants to build a bridge to connect Arab writers with readers of other continents. The literary quality, the creative power of the texts and the ability of the authors to tell a great story are the determining factors in the selection of the works for publication. Neither the nationality, nor religion or the topic of the text plays any role or is a criterion.

Rafik Schami spring 2011, summer 2016