Book publication dates shift, and thus we are supplementing the annual list of forthcoming literature in translation with monthly lists, which we hope are more accurate. If you know of other works forthcoming this month, please add them in the comments or email us at email@example.com.
An Old Carriage with Curtains, Ghassan Zaqtan, translated by Samuel Wilder (Seagull Books)
The final book in a trilogy that began with the beautifully lyric Describing the Past and continued with Where the Bird Disappeared by the winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize. From the publisher:
An Old Carriage with Curtains is the third and final book in a masterful trilogy of novels encompassing the history of the people of the Palestinian village of Zakariyya. The novels trace the wandering trajectories and inner lives of characters connected to this village across decades, as well as the vicissitudes of historical change and displacement in the land. Through the return of a middle-aged man to the site of an ancient monastery in the hills near Jericho that he once visited as a boy, the incredibly vivid and surprising stories of Hind, a stage actress and brilliant storyteller, the stories of tortuous routes of checkpoints and bureaucratic blockages, and decades of Occupation, Zaqtan creates a narrative of personal reckoning and reflection.
Strangers in Light Coats: Selected Poems, 2014-2020, Ghassan Zaqtan, translated by Robin Moger (Seagull Books)
The newest collection of poetry by a globally recognized Palestinian poet.
From the publisher:
Strangers in Light Coats is the third collection of Zaqtan’s poetry to appear in English. It brings together poems written between 2014 and 2020 drawn from six volumes of poetry. Catching and holding the smallest particles of observation and experience in their gravity, the poems sprout and grow as though compelled, a trance of process in which fable, myth, and elegy take form only to fall apart and reconfigure, each line picked apart by the next and brought into the new body.
East Jerusalem Noir, ed. Rawya Jarjoura Burbara (Akashic Books)
Although they may not all fit the definition of “noir,” this collection paints a portrait of East Jerusalem, with new and newly translated stories by Nuzha Abu Ghosh, Ibrahim Jouhar, Osama Alaysa, Rahaf al-Sa’ad, Ziad Khadash, Mahmoud Shukair, Iyad Shamasnah, Rafiqa Othman, Dima al-Samman, Majid Abu Ghosh, Muhammad Shuraim, Jameel al-Salhout, and Nuzha al-Ramlawi.
As the editor writes in her introduction, “The stories here are varied, and I did not interfere with the writers’ content. I asked them to portray the city of Jerusalem as they live it, as they feel it, as they appreciate it, as they fear it, as they want it to be, and as they imagine it in the past, the present, and the future.”
1970: The Last Days, Sonallah Ibrahim, translated by Eleanor Ellis (Seagull Books)
From the publisher:
In 1959, at the age of twenty-two, Egyptian novelist Sonallah Ibrahim was imprisoned by Gamal Abdel Nasser’s regime. Over the following five years in prison in Egypt’s Western Desert, Ibrahim kept diaries that he smuggled out on cigarette papers.
In this novel, Ibrahim takes up Nasser as a fictional character tied tightly to real events, offering a window into his daily life in his final years. Ibrahim follows Nasser during the War of Attrition and the aftermath of the 1967 war with Israel and looks back on the events of the previous decades. He also chronicles Nasser at his most vulnerable, detailing a more private set of Nasser’s setbacks and defeats: the daily routines of a diabetic suffering from heart trouble in the months before his death. Political events as well as social and economic transformations are narrated through newspaper clippings and archival fragments, painting a portrait of the decline of a man who was once larger than life.