Today, Netflix is releasing the series Paranormal, based on the ما وراء الطبيعة books by beloved Egyptian novelist Ahmed Khaled Tawfik. We look back at the man (1962-2018) and the impact his books had on young readers.
"Before that, I had read the Arabic translation of the Goosebumps novels, and I knew that I loved horror fiction, but for me this was better -- maybe it was the Egyptian environment, characters, and atmosphere that made it familiar and yet outlandish."
"When Rifaat Ismail died in the novellas, it caused a sensation on the internet. Fans on social media websites made a de facto protest march online, complaining that the man still had plenty of life in him and that the author should have kept him going for at least another 10 years."
"So he tore up the manuscript and decided to start again. In my opinion, it was the best decision he could’ve made, as the resulting novel was a masterpiece."
"Towfik's engaging novel 'Utopia,' tr. Chip Rossetti, was a finalist for the 2012 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards."
Today, I'm reading through the new bilingual graphic novel collection Autostrade, the first publication out from the newly launched Division Publishing.
True: It's tiresome to hear how the Arabic reading world needs its own Janet Evanovich or its own Martin Luther or its own Margaret Mitchell, as though---to achieve legitimacy---cultures must be dead-on mirrors of the Western experience.