July Online: Arab and Arabic Writing in Translation

A few of the selected translations I’ve been reading online.


from “Tales of a Severed Head,” by Moroccan writer Rachida Madani, trans. Marilyn Hacker. It opens:

Rachida Madani

Each poem is a skiff
headed for the other shore.
Here, the wind shakes its yellow head
of a pagan mourner
and men fall from the branches
like rotten fruit.
Here houses bend from all
their windows
and crash into the street.
Here, the poets die in prison.
Here, a black car waits for him.
Keep reading

Short-short story

“The Deposit,” by Shafeeq Taha al-Nubani, trans. Sarah Irving and Youssef Hussein Hamdan

The cold wouldn’t rise to the level of warmth, or fall to the level of freezing. This state had been latent in Zaidoun for a while, and he couldn’t later define this period. A year… a day… a month… it’s all the same. Keep reading.

Novel excerpts

Two excerpts from Sahar Mandour’s novel 32, trans. Rayya Badran.

An excerpt from Huda al-Jahouri’s novel Things Are Not in Their Place, trans. Robin Moger

An chapter from Huzamah Habayeb’s novel When the Queens Fall Asleep, trans. John Peate

An chapter from Hawra al-Nadawi’s novel Under Copenhagen’s Sky, trans. Robin Moger

An excerpt from Mohammed Hasan Alwan’s Al-Qundus, trans. by a workshop led by Paul Starkey

A video about the workshop: