“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.
This Monday, the new collection This Room is Waiting: Poems from Iraq and the UK will launch in Edinburgh. The collection features new works produced at the Reel Iraq poetry translation workshops in 2013. The workshops brought together four Iraqi poets, four British poets, and Lauren Pyott working as a bridge.
Last August, ArabLit ran a brief series on Iraqi poetry and Iraqi poetry in translation, interviewing Iraqi poets and those who translate Iraqi poetry.
For those in London on June 24.
For the first time, England’s International Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP) has gone to a book translated from the Arabic: Hassan Blasim’s The Iraqi Christ, translated by Jonathan Wright.
A cheer went up in the conference hall when the winner to the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction was announced: It was Iraqi novelist Ahmed Saadawi for his novel, Frankenstein in Baghdad. The cheers were echoed across social media.