As translated Elliott Colla recently noted, Raba’i al-Madhoun’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction-shortlisted novel “The Lady from Tel Aviv” is perhaps the only novel by a Gazan author translated into English.
The Book of Gaza (2014), ed. Atef Abu Saif, collects ten Gazan short stories by ten different writers in a range of styles and views on life in the Strip, with an emphasis on women’s narratives.
Gazan author Hedaya Shamun, in translation by Shaimaa Debees, writes her reflections on the thirteenth day of “Operation Protective Edge.”
Gaza author Hedaya Shamun writes — although her writing rituals have disappeared — about the world she sees around her. Translation by Ghada Mourad and Tyson Patros.
“But then I understood. There is some point where it’s impossible to cross the wall between two languages if you don’t change it.”
Any “listicle” on Gaza risks being an exploitative act, piggybacking on and redirecting attention from the current human catastrophe. But silence isn’t much of a solution, either. So, a list.
Fatin Abdal-Sabur attended the final event of this year’s Palestine Festival of Literature. She reflects on this and the previous fest.
The Jerusalem International Writers Fest was held mid-May, just two weeks before the Palestine Festival of Literature was staged all across historic Palestine. At the Jerusalem festival, there was no apparent recognition of Arabic literature, despite the city’s large (~34%) Arab population.
This week, the 2014 Palestine Festival of Literature announced its full lineup and schedule. Events are set to be held in six cities with the inclusion of such luminaries of world literature as Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, and Najwan Darwish.
While fiction and poetry should never be read as history — or as a substitute for such — the Catastrophe has been the scene for some of Arabic’s most brilliant creative works.
Keep Your Eye on the Wall, ed. Olivia Snaije and Mitch Albert, is less a coffee-table collection, and more — because of its accordion-style binding — a book to transect the floor of your living space, much like the Separation Walls that keep Palestinians apart from Palestinians, from Israelis, from the world, and often from their own land.
Sarah Irving and Henry Bell, co-editors of the forthcoming volume of Palestinian poetry in translation — A Bird is not a Stone — are perhaps the first to run a successful crowdfunding campaign to promote Arabic literature in translation. ArabLit wanted to hear more about how they did it, and why they thought it worked.