“This was a man who wanted to write a book, and he wanted to write it the way he wanted to write it. He may have had all sorts of unconscious models in his mind, but this was an enterprise that was not trammeled by what it should be and what it should be called.”
Dalya Alberge, writing in The Guardian, asserted Saturday that there is a “mini-boom” in literature translated into English. It’s hard to say if that’s the case — Alberge doesn’t have hard numbers — but the success of A Bird is Not a Stone is surely instructive.
Let’s set aside whether Arabic(s) is/are really deteriorating — or whether they’re in a process of change — and focus on novelist Iman Humaydan’s other arguments, about schooling, censorship, and how many students don’t believe that “their mother tongue is capable… Read More ›
It is perhaps less of a surprise that the Arabic translation of the best-selling and acclaimed Malayalam novel ആടുജീവിതം, or “Goat Days,” has been banned in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and more of a surprise that the Bahrain-based Gulf News Daily is reporting on it.
This evening in Abu Dhabi, the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction will be announced. There are six titles in contention — books by Abdelrahman Lahbibi, Ahmed Mourad, Ahmed Saadawi, Inaam Kachachi, Khaled Khalifa, and Youssef Fadel: The five… Read More ›
In Hassan Najmi’s “Gertrude” (trans. Roger Allen, 2014), the author quietly inserts a Moroccan from Tangiers into the tumultuous turn-of-the-20th-century lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. This quietness echoes with the oddness and invisibility of Tanjawi Moroccans in the works of American authors who spent time in the international zone — Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, and others.
On December 11, Khaled Khalifa’s ‘No Knives in the Kitchens of This City’ was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal. ArabLit checked in with Elisabeth Jaquette, who has translated an excerpt of the novel.
Knowing that these things sometimes change, we’ll add an “insha’allah” to that forthcoming.
Yasmina Jraissati writes, in Book Brunch’s Spotlight on Arab Publishing (Sharjah International Book Fair Special), about the precipitous drop in sales publishers have seen in 2012 and 2013. But this isn’t the whole story.
PROSE “The novelist vs. the revolutionary: My own Syrian debate,” by Samar Yazbek, trans. Ruth Ahmedzai, from the Washington Post. I am two women. They stand head to head, at loggerheads. The revolutionary in me joined what started as peaceful demonstrations… Read More ›
Emily Drumsta was, as part of her Q&A about Nazik al-Mala’ika’s revolutionary romantic poetry, kind enough to share an excerpt of a poem she’s now working on translating:
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).