And finally, acclaimed Arab writers’ favorite novels of 2012. Some can be found on the “Arabic Booker” longlist, but certainly not all. (For instance, we can wonder why Diary of an Iraqi Dog didn’t make the list.) Previous days, we posted favorites… Read More ›
I don’t think I worry about causing pain to the reader. I worry much more about fetishizing torture, shaping pretty gardens out of skulls.
With new issues out from Jadaliyya and Banipal, it was time to poke around the Internet for new stories, poems, novel excerpts, memoir fragments and more in translation. NOVEL EXCERPTS From The City of Images (2011), by Luay Hamza Abbas, trans. Suneela Mubayi… Read More ›
New & Forthcoming: Fiction from IPAF Shortlister Bensalem Himmich, Acclaimed Fadhil al-Azzawi and Mahmoud Saeed
International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) shortlister Bensalem Himmich and 2011 IPAF judging chair Fadhil al-Azzawi both have new works of fiction coming soon in English.
I have heard people say that they don‘t like Arab novels, they‘re sentimental, immature, poorly crafted, have weak character development. Others tell me ‘that wasn’t bad’ or ‘I quite liked that.’ I have rarely found anyone who has raved and raved about an Arab novel or an Arab novel that has reached the heights of the Russians or the Latin Americans.
I suppose most people—if speaking of Alexandria-themed literature in English—would point to Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, or perhaps to the renowned Greek-Alexandrian Constantine Cavafy. But the idea of “Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria” is much like “Paul Bowles’ Morocco” and thus—literary merits notwithstanding—is not my core interest.
If there is a first family of Arabic literature, it might well be Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour, Palestinian poet/memoirist Mourid Barghouti, and their poet-son Tamim Al-Barghouti.
I de-coupled this from my review of Abdelmeguid’s Saint Theresa, although the two novellas have been published together by AUC Press, because I find Sleeping with Strangers a much harder book to review.
I do hope that Khairy Shalaby has success with the English translation of his The Time-Travels of the Man Who Sold Pickles and Sweets (1991), due out this fall from AUC Press. It was translated by Michael Cooperson.
Bahaa Abdelmegid first published the slim, 96-page Saint Theresa in 2001. When it finally appeared in English in 2010—apparently it had been on AUC Press’s “to translate” list for a while—it came packaged with a 2005 novella of Abdelmeguid’s, Sleeping… Read More ›
Last night, author Khaled al-Berry defied World Cup mania and celebrated the launch of his new novel, رقصة شرقية (Middle Eastern Dance) at Kotob Khan in New Ma’adi. The book, which just came out from Dar Al Ain, opens in… Read More ›
As young Egyptian author Ahmed Nagi (Rogers) happened to email me, I thought I’d ask about his favorite books of the last decade. With the caveat that “maybe there are other titles I can’t remember now,” he said: On The… Read More ›