Ibn Arabi’s Small Death

Longlist, National Book Awards 2022 for Translated Literature

book cover for Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Ibn Arabi’s Small Death
ISBN 9781477324301
Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
photo of Mohammed Hasan Alwan. (Photo courtesy of Mohammed Hasan Alwan)
Mohammed Hasan Alwan

Mohammed Hasan Alwan is a Saudi novelist with a PhD from Carleton University. He is the author of four previous novels, including Al-Qundus (The Beavers), which was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2013 and won the Arab World Institute's Prix de la Littérature Arabe. More about this author >

photo of William M. Hutchins. (Photo credit: Chase Reynolds)
William M. Hutchins

William M. Hutchins is a former professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. He is an award-winning translator, best known for his translation of the Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz. More about this author >

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Translated from the Arabic

From the publisher:

Ibn Arabi’s Small Death is a sweeping and inventive work of historical fiction that chronicles the life of the great Sufi master and philosopher Ibn Arabi. Known in the West as “Rumi’s teacher,” he was a poet and mystic who proclaimed that love was his religion. Born in twelfth-century Spain during the Golden Age of Islam, Ibn Arabi traveled thousands of miles from Andalusia to distant Azerbaijan, passing through Morocco, Egypt, the Hijaz, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey on a journey of discovery both physical and spiritual. Witness to the wonders and cruelties of his age, exposed to the political rule of four empires, Ibn Arabi wrote masterworks on mysticism that profoundly influenced the world. Alwan’s fictionalized first-person narrative, written from the perspective of Ibn Arabi himself, breathes vivid life into a celebrated and polarizing figure.