Earlier this week, the “PalREAD – Country of Words” project announced the launch of the debut episode of their new podcast.
The first episode features a wide-ranging conversation with Palestinian novelist Liana Badr, and organizers promise 10 episodes, each focused on a different author. They write:
In light of lost, looted, or destroyed archives, the podcast promotes the role of oral literary history in filling the gaps and compensating for the dearth of documentation and records. By speaking to literary and cultural figures from different generations and diverse geographical locations, including Haifa, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Beirut, Damascus, Amman, and Tunis, the podcast documents unwritten dimensions of Palestinian literature and uncovers untold stories.
Forthcoming episodes promise to feature Mahmoud Shukair, Asmaa Azaizeh, Faisal Darraj, Elias Khoury, Ghassan Zaqtan, Huzama Habayeb, Abed Abdi, Hadi Danyal, and Rajaa Ghanem.
In each episode, guests speak about their literary evolution and trajectories, their movements across periods and geographies, their friends, networks, and periodicals they were associated with. Each guest chooses a text to read from their own works or from the corpus of Palestinian literature, discussing their choice. They also each identify and discuss what they consider to be an important work that influenced the course of Palestinian literary history. Finally, many of the guests give us a glimpse into their personal libraries and how their book collections have been affected by censorship, constant movement, loss, and destruction.