New York: Dodd, Mead, 1911. First edition. Publisher's brown cloth, blocked in white and blind; fine condition. Title page, chapter heading, and tailpiece vignettes by Rihani's friend and student, Khalil Gibran. The front panel from the dust jacket, which carries a lengthy blurb, is mounted to the front flyleaf. Inscribed to the great German scholar of Islam and Arab nationalist Martin Hartmann: "To Prof. Martin Hartmann from his friend Ameen Rihani. Beirut October 9, 1912." With Hartmann's pencilled annotations throughout. Item #27809
The first Arab-American novel, the first novel written in English by an Arab, an enduring work of literature, and an important contribution to the literature of immigration. "The Book of Khalid... is the pioneer text of Anglo-Arab discourse. 'The first Arab writer in English', imitator of Carlyle, admirer of Emerson and Renan, translator of one of the chief poets from the classical age of Arabic literature, innovator as a writer of prose-poetry in Arabic: still Ameen Rihani's significance as a pioneer figure in early twentieth-century Arab-American letters remains to be fully evaluated." "He created for himself the role of roving ambassador for the Pan-Arab cause, and in his writings originated a discourse in which the boundaries of the Arab nation incorporate the ...which...called into being a new cultural space in which Christians and Muslims might live as one....But Rihani could see no genuine reciprocity between the western powers and the emerging nations of the East, until the latter had succeeded in re-appropriating their cultural and national identities."Geoffrey Nash, The Arab Writer in English: Arab themes in a metropolitan language, 1908-1958, p. 13
On Hartmann, see Martin Kramer, "Arabistik and Arabism: The Passions of Martin Hartmann," Middle Eastern Studies (London), vol. 25, no. 3 (July 1989), pp. 283-300. This is the slightly revised version that appeared in Martin Kramer's collected volume, Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival.