Ghada Abdel-Aal
Najwan Darwish

Thanks to M.A. Orthofer at The Literary Saloon, I see that the University of Iowa International Writing Program has announced their 2010 International Writing Program participants.  As Orthofer notes, these names are “worth paying attention to, some of these folk will certainly be heard from (or, better yet: read) sooner or later. ”

From the Arabic-writing world, we have Egyptian blogger and memoirist Ghada Abdel-Aal, whose Ayza Atgowaz was certainly popular, if not entirely critically acclaimed. (Yes, yes, Abdel-Aal is “Carrie Bradshaw in a headscarf.“) The English translation of her book-based-on-a-blog, I Want to Get Married, will be out from University of Texas Press in October.

You can read a sample from the book online.

Also from the Arabic-writing world is Najwan Darwish. According to the IWP website:

His first poetry collection, [He was Knocking at the Last Door] was published in 2000; selections of his poetry have been translated into English, French and Spanish. In 2009 Darwish was selected by the Beirut39 Festival as one of the best Arab writers under the age of 39.  He is the editor of the Min wa Illa magazine, which publishes the works of Arab writers and artists in the region.

No “sample” is provided for Darwish, but VQR Online does have a translation of his poem “There.