Lit & Found: An Excerpt of Hilal Chouman’s ‘Sadness in my Heart’

A photograph taken during Lebanon’s Civil War launches a journey of discovery in a new translation — by ArabLit editor Nashwa Nasreldin — from Hilal Chouman’s novel, Sadness in My Heart.

The excerpt opens:

I heard a faint tapping at the door then the knocks grew louder. Someone was calling out, using my first name: “Mr. Youssef! Mr. Youssef!” I opened my eyes and my head immediately began to throb. I discovered that I was in the hotel bed, naked, and that a young man was asleep nearby, fully clothed, covering his face with a pillow. The hotel phone was resting on the floor, its receiver detached. Slowly, I nudged the pillow aside and found Jean’s face.

Read it on The Markaz Review.

The whole book should be forthcoming in Katharine Halls’ translation; she recently announced that she had been awarded a translation grant (Recherchestipendium für Berliner Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzer) by Berlin’s Senatsverwaltung für Kultur for her work on the novel.

Another excerpt from the novel:

This excerpt appeared in English on Mada Masr, translated by Suneela Mubayi.

A short story:

Hilal Chouman’s short story “World of Dogs”

On Chouman’s Limbo Beirut

An excerpt from Chouman’s Limbo Beirut, translated by Anna Ziajka Stanton

‘Limbo Beirut’: Anna Ziajka Stanton on Translating a City

‘Limbo Beirut’: A Don’t-miss Illustrated Novel of Contemporary Limbos, Beiruts