This fall, Seagull Books brought out a translation of Akram Musallam’s The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion, Englished by Sawad Hussain.
The have an excerpt of the novel on their website, which they describe as an exploration of Palestinian identity “in the hope of transcending the loss of territory and erasure of history.”
The excerpt opens:
We were teenagers. She came to me; to the ‘dance hall’ at the start of the night; suddenly she came to me, and after a brief chat, she said she had come to show me her freshly tattooed scorpion, just below her spine.
Faded blue jeans and a brick-red blouse revealing a strip of flesh atop her navel is what she had on. We sat on the edge of the platform designated for the band in the dance hall— where I would sleep on a modest mattress. She swivelled round and hunched forward, trying to show o the tattoo, her fingertips tugging at her jeans. I couldn’t see much, which she understood, so she loosened her jeans to reveal a small cobalt-blue scorpion lying on a body the colour of the shore; a body that had much to say, a body bubbling with recklessness.