Friday Finds: ‘A Contemporary Novel’ by Maya Abu al-Hayat & Five More

Translator Fady Joudah has added his Englishing of Maya Abu al-Hayat’s “A Contemporary Novel” to his series of “Poems from Palestine” for The Baffler:

The poem, set to appear in the sardonic, insightful, unafraid collection ¬†You Can Be the Last Leaf next year, is one of the rare poems that comment on the novel (while many novels seem to comment on poetry). It tells us that, in the contemporary novel, ¬†Finding out who the killer is / is not the point of the murder/ in the opening scene.”

Later on, with her characteristic sympathy and wit: “The female protagonist visits him in the mornings, / taps shyly on the window, sweeps the street with a glance. / (Did anyone see her?).”

Read the whole poem at The Baffler.


Five more poems from the collection, forthcoming from Milkweed:

Your Laughter” & “My Laugh


Since They Told Me My Love Won’t Be Coming Back from the War

I Don’t Believe in Greats