On December 25, the New York Times ran two long pieces — “Human Costs of Forever Wars, Enough to Fill a Bookshelf” and “A Reading List of Modern War Stories” — that have prompted this holiday re-run.
Alexandra Atiya talks with Iraqi novelist Muhsin al-Ramli about his Dates on My Fingers, trans. Luke Leafgren (2014), a novel that began in the wake of destruction.
Reviewer Alexandra Atiya found a challenge to received ideas of masculinity in Iraqi novelist Muhsin al-Ramli’s “Dates on My Fingers” (2014), translated by Luke Leafgren.
Issue 51 of Banipal magazine focuses on pioneering Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef, who was born in 1934 near Basra.
Arab authors must engage more with futuristic fiction, al-Mustafa Najjar argues.
“Mahmoud captured worlds that have disappeared: the Baghdad of his youth and Prague under communism. His style was uniquely his own and his voice was always clearly identifiable.”
Of course PW’s reviewers haven’t read all the books that have come out this year — and likely few of the Arabic books in translation, which are not widely reviewed — but they did choose “The Corpse Exhibition” from a pool of around 9,000.
This month, Words Without Borders has focused on “Writing Exile.” As you might expect, many of the featured authors write in Arabic.
In two of his novels, The Corpse Washer and Hail Mary, Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon has touched on the growing sectarianization of Iraq. In an interview published on Ahram Online and Jadaliyya, he says “it may be too late to save Iraq’s Christians.”
Al-Mustafa Najjar recently attended a showing of “The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes,” based on a short story by Hassan Blasim.
Amr El-Zawawy has translated a poem, “حضارة الغرب”, by celebrated Iraqi poet Abdel-Wahhab Al-Bayyati: By Amr El-Zawawy The celebrated poet Abdel-Wahhab Al-Bayyati was born in Baghdad on Dec. 19, 1926 and died in exile on August 3, 1999. As a young man, he joined… Read More ›
In a lecture at the American University in Cairo last March, Iraqi poet and translator Sinan Antoon wove together poetics and politics, linking an understanding of translation as “extended mourning” with observations from his experience as a translator of Arabic poetry into English. Anny Gaul reflects on the lecture and the politics of translation.