“My role? For years I would receive emails, hate mail from the Arab world. Now I get hate mail from Finns! Because I speak about racism, about refugees.”
Ten titles were selected for the Autumn 2016 round of PEN Translates awards.
“I don’t know what to do to stop this,” Eid told Mada.
Yazbek’s ‘Bawabat’ has now appeared in thirteen languages, including Malayalam, Greek, Romanian, and Tamil.
“I think literature buffs have a different take on what is interesting than some others in the field: the “classical standards” (if I understand the phrase as you mean it) include many works that are riveting for religion scholars, fun for philologists, hysterically exciting for historians, but my test for a book is, Would the author be fun to sit in a café with?”
“I think having a bilingual children’s book will make Finnish children interested in Arabic,” Pakkala said over email. “At the same time, Arabic children feel normal.”
“The ninth edition of the “Sea of Words” accepted stories that somehow addressed violence against women; unsurprisingly, then, the top three prizes all went to women. “
“The University of Durham and Banipal magazine have announced a new annual writing fellowship ‘for a published author writing in Arabic, based each year at St. Aidan’s College.'”
“Basra is a pioneer in writing fiction and this is probably because Basra is a multi-ethnic and -nationality city, or used to be, until it was depopulated of these many ethnic and national citizens with the passage of time, such as the Jews, Armenians, Christians and some other foreign residents.”
“What you need to understand is that truth is directly connected to our wallets. And since your wallet is empty, and mine is full, that means the truth isn’t in your wallet. It’s in mine.”
“But the most poignant moment for Arabic literature at the Fest was when a chair was left open for Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji at the event about censorship, “Words Under Siege,” and PEN International’s Romana Cacchioli read Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh’s open letter to Naji.”
“There was a time when we’d hoped that the state might sponsor and encourage young writers, because there are quite a number of young people at work writing novels. But today I’m not asking for any support from the state; all we ask is that they leave us in peace, and that we write without interference or guidance or censorship.”