Forthcoming: New and Classic Djinn Tales from Hermes, Nada Adel Sobhi, Sophia Al-Maria, Amal El-Mohtar, Others

On Thursday, TOR did a table-of-contents reveal for its forthcoming collection, The Djinn Falls in Love:

djinnluvThe anthology, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, is scheduled for March 2017. Titled The Djinn Falls in Love, and Other Stories, it promises to bring together more than “20 new and classic tales of Djinn from amazing authors from all around the world.”

This includes the title poem by Hermes* (the pen name of Egyptian writer Mohamed Magdy), brought into English by acclaimed translator Robin Moger.

Hermes’s contribution had earlier been referred to as a story, but Moger corrects that it’s a poem.

Also Qatari-American writer Sophia al-Maria (The Girl Who Fell to Earth), Lebanese-Canadian poet and short-story writer Amal El-Mohtar, Egyptian Nada Adel Sobhi, Sudanese-British writer Jamal Mahjoub (here, read his “In the Long Shadows”), Nnedi Okorafor (of the wildly imaginative Who Fears Death), and many others.

The stories, in alphabetical order by author’s given name:

  • Amal El-Mohtar — A Tale of Ash in Seven Birds
  • Catherine King — Queen of Sheba
  • Claire North — Hurrem and the Djinn
  • E.J. Swift — The Jinn Hunter’s Apprentice
  • Helene Wecker — Majnun
  • Hermes (trans. Robin Moger) — The Djinn Falls in Love
  • Jamal Mahjoub — Duende 2077
  • James Smythe — The Sand in the Glass is Right
  • J.Y. Yang — Glass Lights
  • Kamila Shamsie — The Congregation
  • Kirsty Logan — The Spite House
  • K.J. Parker — Message in a Bottle
  • Kuzhali Manickavel — How We Remember You
  • Maria Dahvana Headley — Black Powder
  • Monica Byrne — Authenticity
  • Nada Adel Sobhi — Time is a Teacher
  • Neil Gaiman — Somewhere in America
  • Nnedi Okorafor — History
  • Saad Hossein — Bring Your Own Spoon
  • Sami Shah — REAP
  • Sophia Al-Maria — The Righteous Guide of Arabsat
  • Usman Malik — Emperors of Jinn

Hermes has talked before about writing about djinn. From 2015:

I like the mysterious, the non-immediacy, the latency, the not-right-there-yet-is-there effect to poetry, I guess it must be the stories of the prophets and the stories about djinn and the TV Arabian Nights shows that I grew up on. As for prose especially fiction, I think maybe I will write it one day. I mean writing a novel is always in the back of my head, but when? I don’t know. It might never happen, when I was twenty I said I will do it when I am thirty, now I am thirty and I am not writing a novel right now. So. Who knows.

*The “why Hermes” question was addressed in a previous ArabLit interview: “‘Why Hermes’ is a long story, but let me put it in this way: Like all my generation of writers, well most of those whom I know, we matured in the recesses of internet chat rooms and mail groups and forums, late nineties, I had to choose a ‘nickname’ or, to benefit from the connotation, a user-name.”