When the list of IPAF (or “Arabic Booker”) nominees was released Dec. 15, several reporters noted that “Mansoura Ez-eldin is the only female nominee.” This is certainly true–and it’s something that distinguishes her among the list of Arabic names–but it… Read More ›
Most of the “best-of” lists I’ve seen in the U.S. and U.K. presses are awash with the regulars: Alice Munro, Lydia Davis, ta-di-di-dah. Of course, they’re lovely writers. But! Occasionally, you do want to see the odd foreigner. And now,… Read More ›
I came across this somewhat strange headline in Bikya Masr. Certainly, five or ten years ago I would have cheered it—oorah, more Darwish in English! But, these days, poet-translator Fady Joudah is bringing out beautiful Darwish translations. And, as of… Read More ›
Quarterly Conversation has posted my review of Bahaa Taher’s Sunset Oasis, which won the inaugural “Arabic Booker,” or International Prize for Arabic Fiction. (The book, not my review.) As you’ll see, I find the book somewhat problematic, particularly in its… Read More ›
The print media is rife with the “best books of 2009,” and I’m sure we’ll soon see countdowns of dozens of other things (“top news stories,” “best frauds perpetrated by wanna-be reality TV stars,” and so on). Having worked in… Read More ›
This time it’s Cairo Modern, reviewed here (un-starred) by Publishers Weekly. Now I am about to agree with the Angry Arab News Service (Dr. As`ad AbuKhalil) and his assessment that we need less Mahfouz, more of…everybody else.