HALIM BARAKAT is a novelist, critic, and scholar of sociology, who recently retired from a long career on the faculty of Georgetown University in Washington DC. Among his scholarly works in English are: Visions of Society: Reality in the Contemporary Arabic Novel and The Arab World: Society, Culture, and State. BASSAM FRANGIEH is a scholar in the field of modern Arabic literature. He has published a number of studies of important modern Arab poets and is a translator and anthologist. He has taught at several American institutions, most recently Yale University. ROGER ALLEN is professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Among his translations from Arabic literature are Naguib Mahfouz's Mirrors (AUC Press, 1999) and Karnak Cafe (AUC Press, 2007).