In the words of Lebanese writer Lina Mounzer, “[I]f anyone asks: “why the Syrian revolution & is it real?” the answer for me is always this book.”
The winners were announced by Palestinian writer Ghassan Zaqtan, one of last year’s three laureates.
“The things I liked about this book, and which I hope would come across in the translation, would be the elusive and delicate nature of the prose and the often beautiful, uncertain, way sentences stopped or turned or gathered. It is a very brilliant and subtle and strange meditation on history and books and narratives of all kinds.”
“Tosh Fesh will choose four graphic novels from among those submitted. They’ll fund the projects’ creative development and production, offering writers $2,000 as well as printing and distribution.”
“What is also surprising is that we expected the Gulf to be the greatest consumers of digital content as they have the strongest purchasing power. However we have found that Arabs living abroad are the most excited and invested in this digital content as they are unable to buy the books they want outside of the Middle East.”
“I remember Emile Habibi, the great Palestinian novelist, once said to me, How dare you give the characters of your novels Christian or Muslim names?”
The collection’s best stories — of which there are many — aren’t interested in djinn as a site of the exotic, wish-granting imaginary. Instead, they employ djinn in tales that move sideways to explore cruelty or loss, adolescence or injustice.
“I prefer…to place the novel into a certain constellation of recent works that are set in imaginary (or semi-imaginary) yet entirely recognizable settings – works such as The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, Otared by Mohammed Rabie, Paul Beatty’s Sellout, Dave Eggers’ A Hologram for the King, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. “
These two characters—who are both similar and opposite—could be fodder for slapstick. But Fadel plays it differently. The novel’s “comic” sections are discomfortingly tragic, while the tragic scenes are often darkly funny.
“Eighty percent of AUC Press business was settled in one market and overnight we lost it.”
“Submissions may not include self-translation, and must be texts translated INTO English from any other language. “
” I turned to our male-dominated history where the role of women has been very important, yet we don’t hear about it.”