‘Life on Hold’: A Novel of Stalled Dreams in Saudi Arabia

A novel where the “days are all much the same, bringing nothing new” is a difficult thing to pull off. And Fahd al-Atiq’s “Life on Hold,” trans. Jonathan Wright, couldn’t be characterized as a page-turner. But the book does manage to craft a compelling narrative about the contradictions of contemporary Riyadh even as the protagonist remains stranded in nowhere-land

Saudi’s Top-selling Sci Fi Novel Yanked from Stores

It is not unusual to receive notes about books banned in Saudi Arabia. But the science fiction novel HWJN was one of the country’s top-sellers since its release late April. Ibraheem Abbas and Yasser Bahjatt’s novel — trans. Bahjatt — has also gotten tremendous word-of-mouth buzz on Twitter. Now, the book has been charged with blasphemy and devil-worshiping and is no longer being sold at major stores in the KSA.

A New Generation of Arab Writers: Mohammed Hassan Alwan and Jana Elhassan

This June, the Shubbak Festival in London brought together authors Jana Elhassan and Mohamed Hassan Alwan in conversation with BBC broadcaster, writer, and arts critic Bidisha. Attending the event were representatives of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Banipal magazine, as well as literary translators, bloggers, critics and readers. ArabLit contributor Amira Abd El-Khalek was there.


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