Out Next Week: Banipal 41, Celebrating Adonis and Swedish-Arab Writers (and More)

Rather than just asking, which would be the dull way to go, I’m going to guess that the Amir Tag El-Sir is an excerpt from his IPAF-shortlisted (and critically acclaimed) The Hunter of Chrysalises.  I’ll guess Alexandra Chreiteh’s submission is an excerpt, trans. Michelle Hartman, of Always Coca Cola, forthcoming from Clockroot, and that the Ali Bader is an excerpt of his novel The Tobacco Keeper, coming out from BQFP. All sufficiently good reasons to buy Banipal 41. Or wait as it creeps its way through the Egyptian post.

If a book of Rabee Jaber‘s is coming out in English, I hadn’t heard. Would it be his IPAF-shortlisted Amreeka, which was already excerpted in the Beirut39 collection? Something else?

As for the Libyan poet and novelist Ashur Etwebi, you can get your tongue wet by reading “Poems From Above the Hill,” translated by the author and one of my favorite Anglo poets, Brenda Hillman.

Many of the Arab-Swedish writers are unfamiliar to me, although I enjoyed Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s Montecore. And I didn’t realize that Syrian author Salim Barakat lived in Sweden.

And the Adonis essays (including one from V.S. Naipaul?): I do hope there’s criticism in there as well as celebration. It’s not a party without criticism.

Next up in Banipal 42: Literature from the Emirates.


  1. “It’s not a party without criticism.” That is a remark I have never heard before–and a little solipsistic, I think. Otherwise, continuing thanks for your marvelous blog!

  2. All right…how about, “I’m tired of the sometimes closed-in nature of literature and both our over-enthusiastic praise and our over-enthusiastic criticism (being in love with our own critical vocabulary), and am hoping for a balance.”

    I could go on and on about how Arabic-lang writers in translation are often damned with faint praise, as though they were children who could only be lightly celebrated.

    And sure, celebration of a writer is great, but at some point an assessment of both strengths and limitations is also good.

Comments are closed.