The most outstanding Arabic writer of the 20th century is Naguib Mahfouz, a prolific Egyptian novelist, playwright, and screenwriter who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1988. Other prominent writers from Egypt - which has long been the intellectual centre of the Arab world - include Taha Hussein and Tawfiq al-Hakim.
Censorship and the lack of an educated readership have restricted literary activity in many countries. Although banned in Saudi Arabia and little known in the west, Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif is considered by many to be one of the greatest modern novels. It deals with the discovery of oil in a remote oasis, and the impact of American business and corrupt Arab rulers on the lives of the poor local community.
Lebanon has produced an outstanding poet, Kahlil Gibran, whose mystical poetry is widely read. Among women writers, Nawal al-Saadawi is probably the best known.
A number of modern writers have also emerged in the Maghreb (north Africa), though many of them write in French rather than Arabic.
Following are the list of arabic literary websites and journals
Magazine of Arab culture and arts
A magazine of modern Arab literature
(Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre)
Maghrebi Studies Group
Libyan literature and art
(in Arabic, via Ibrahim Ighneiwa)
Litteratures du Maghreb (LIMAG)
Algérie Littérature / Action (in French)
International Journal of Francophone Studies (mainly in English)
Expressions maghrébines (in French)
(Coordination Internationale des Chercheurs sur les Littératures Maghrébines). See also archive: Etudes littéraires maghrébines