As I first re-read George Orwell’s “Why I Write,” I thought I was just stopping by for the delightful sketch of an unhappy childhood (and the triumphalist idea that I, by riding on George Orwell’s coattails, had also bested my unhappy years).
Sixty years after the 1952 revolution, the legacy of both Gamal Abdel Nasser and his regime remain fraught territory. Was Abdel Nasser a true friend of the poor? Was he an enemy of Islam (or just all dissidents)? How should he be remembered? Abdel Nasser has been the subject of a number of literary depictions over the last half-century, from laudatory to humorous to critical.
Hassan Blasim’s new collection, which is out later this year from the UK’s Comma Press, has been sold to Penguin USA (in combination with his first). The news release: Manchester’s Comma Press have just sold Hassan Blasim’s short story collection… Read More ›
Yesterday afternoon, I met with Palestinian-British novelist Selma Dabbagh, following her trip to Gaza with the 2012 Palestine Festival of Literature. Dabbagh’s debut novel Out of It (BQFP 2011, US edition forthcoming) is partially set in — and always anchored to… Read More ›
Three New Websites Editoriaraba: Un blog per raccontare le novità editoriali del mondo arabo! http://editoriaraba.wordpress.com/ I know that a number of ArabLit’s readers come from Italy; here is an ArabLit source that does me one better: It’s in Italian. Also,… Read More ›
From the Egypt Independent: Egypt was one of just 14 countries represented by submissions to this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing, sometimes referred to as the “African Booker.” The prestigious and lucrative short-story prize, which accepts work from African-rooted writers the… Read More ›
From the Egypt Independent: Tarek Eltayeb’s “The Palm House” has the beginnings of a strong and important novel. For the first 160 pages, the Sudanese author’s second book goes roaring along. The novel, published in Arabic in 2006 and now available… Read More ›
Regular Arablitters know that Wajdi al-Ahdal’s بلد بلا سماء (A Land without Sama/Sky), trans. William Hutchins, is scheduled for release this fall from Garnet Publishing. Plans are to call it A Land without Jasmine. I appreciate the difficulties here — the name “Sama”… Read More ›
Artists and writers who are “from, and working in, the Middle East” are invited to apply for an 8-week residency in Vermont that includes travel, housing, meals, health insurance (important!), gallery exhibition, and a $500 stipend. According to an email,… Read More ›
The “Middle East / North African” literature club is an active part of the global GoodReads community with some 400 members. I asked one of the founders & leaders of the group, who calls herself “Nile Daughter” online, a few… Read More ›