‘Egyptian Writers Folio’: 17 Authors

The recently posted Anomaly 26 features work by seventeen Egyptian writers, crafted in English, curated by Hazem Fahmy:

In his introduction to the folio, Fahmy writes:

The idea for this project began with an odd observation. Despite the prominence of Egyptian literature, art and cinema within the Arab cultural landscape, Egyptians are drastically underrepresented abroad, despite being all over the place. For instance, after Lebanese-Americans, Egyptian Americans form the second largest national identity within the Arab-American community. And yet, Egyptians are scant to be found in Anglophone Arab literature and art. Of course, it is nothing short of a delight for me to witness my Lebanese and Palestinian siblings thriving, but as an Egyptian I itched to create a space for the empowerment of Egyptian and Egypt-centric writing.

Certainly there are well-loved Anglophone Egyptian writers, from the cult-classic Waguih Ghali to the acclaimed Ahdaf Soueif to debut novelists like Yasmine Rashidi and Omar Robert Hamilton. But just as certainly, more are welcome.

The writers included in Anomaly 26 range from the already-accoladed and published to the first-time author, and the pieces are in a range of styles and structures. One of the works was self-translated (Mohamed Metwalli’s), and Amira Hanafi’s comes from her Dictionary of the Revolution project, but the rest were written in English.

There are a number of bilingual pieces, for instance Dina El Dessouky’s wonderful “Knives,” which opens: “I abhor the sound of my parents/ clashing their metal tongues// you son of 60 dogs/ you whore// ya kelb ya waesich/ 3an abu shaklak// the language of wedding band inscriptions/ hurled across the dinner table[.]”

You can read them all at Anomaly 26:

 

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3 comments

    • I suppose that’s a question for Hazem; I’ll have to tag him. And I’ve only read Yussef’s plays (never seen them staged), but they make pretty entertaining reading.

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