The And Other Stories Arabic Reading Group is back with three more Syrian books being considered for publication in English:
The first AOS group that focused on Arabic writing met in the fall of 2013 and read three books chosen by acclaimed Syrian author Samar Yazbek. This time, the group will continue its focus on Syria with: No Knives in the Kitchens of this City by Khaled Khalifa, The Caves of Hydrahodahose by Salim Barakat, and The Gist of It by Rasha Abbas.
And Other Stories is an independent UK publisher that uses reading groups to help select the work it translates and publishes. Although none of the novels read in the Arabic group in fall 2013 have yet been published in translation, there has been a good deal of interest in Mustafa Khalifa’s The Shell.
The group is open both to those who read in Arabic and those who don’t: Excerpts will be translated from the novels into English readers. Those interested in the titles can read the book in Arabic, the excerpts in English, or both.
As for those who live in London, group coordinator Elisabeth Jaquette writes, “I hope you’ll take part in our discussions in person, as well as online in the comments section of the author pages. If you are in another city and are interested in getting a group together to read along (last time we had groups in Cairo and New York City too), let me know and we’ll be happy to put information up about it on the website.”
The first book the group will discuss is Khalifa’s is No Knives in the Kitchens of this City. In London, the meeting will be on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 7pm at the Holborn Whippet, 25-29 Sicilian Avenue, London WC1A 2QH.
- Download and read Elisabeth Jaquette’s translation of an extract from No Knives in the Kitchens of This City.
- This same extract was translated by Anne-Marie McManus and Ghias Aljundi, and appeared in Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline (Saqi, 2014).
- You can order No Knives from the Neel Wa Furat here or here.
- Also, read Asmaa Abdallah’s review of the novel, Jaquette’s piece on why it will succeed in English, and Al-Mustafa Najjar’s Q&A with Khalifa.