Arabic Booker Shortlist-ee Mansoura Ez Eldin on Writing

Mansoura Ez Eldin, who was shortlisted for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF or Arabic Booker), has published three books. The first was a collection of short stories, and the second a novel titled Maryam’s Maze, which is available in English. Her second novel, Beyond Paradise, will surely be available in English soon.

In an interview with Sousan Hammad, Ez Eldin echoes something Sonallah Ibrahim has said about terminating his relationship with his books as soon as they’re published. She also rolls her eyes about the discussion of whether her books are “feminist” or “fearless”:

I no longer insist on anything concerning classifying my books. Rather, I am bored of trying to explain my stance on feminism and what not. I believe that good works (and I hope mine are like that) are smarter than its authors, they surpass their writer’s beliefs and ideas about writing into creating their personal interpretive space. I like to end my relationship with my books as soon as they are published: that is when it becomes the property of readers who interprets to their liking.

Ez Eldin also talks about the loneliness of writing:

The writer stands alone in face of all of his creative characters and all the technical issues posed on him by his work. Each new attempt is an attempt to avoid what a previous work lacked. A writer always has an idea of what he/she anticipated must be written. Each new work is an incomplete attempt at reaching this idea.

More from Ez Eldin on the Beirut39 blog.

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