This October (2010), Archipelago Books will release one of Mahmoud Darwish’s prose collections, a volume of rich autobiographical essays, Journal of an Ordinary Grief.
The Journal was originally published in 1973, and these essays or extended prose poems explore the relationships between Israelis and Palestinians, and Darwish’s own complex identity. I have not yet read more than the lovely opening pages, but Archipelago promises that the essays “delve into the poet’s experience of house arrest, his encounters with Israeli interrogators, and the periods he spent in prison.”
Perhaps more interesting to Darwish fans (who will surely want to pick up this volume) is: Who is the translator? It’s Ibrahim Muhawi, who also translated another of Darwish’s prose works, Memory for Forgetfulness. Muhawi is currently working on a book about Darwish.