Ten titles were selected for the Autumn 2016 round of PEN Translates awards.
“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.”
Next March marks the tenth anniversary of the bombing of Baghdad’s Al-Mutanabbi Street, the city’s historic bookselling corridor. Many continue to remember.
“What then could come out of bringing these different Iraqi and American experiences of the war, these different time-frames, into dialogue? And what would be lost?”
“I found that very strange and hard to digest – and I mean that as a compliment.”
The PEN-supported collection features writing by the pseudonymous Anoud, as well as Hassan Abdulrazzak, Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Zhraa Alhaboby, Ali Bader, Hassan Blasim, Mortada Gzar, Jalal Hasan, Diaa Jubaili and Khalid Kaki.
Among the authors on Jraissati’s fall list, only Dima Wannous doesn’t have a book in English translation.
“For Anglophone fans, Blasim will be at the Ilkley Literature Festival on October 14 at 7:30 p.m. to talk about the forthcoming collection he’s edited, ‘Iraq + 100’.”
“A guiding thread came unexpectedly from my mother, who turned out to have had a Jewish childhood friend named Evelyn.”
“That’s when Ali got a surprising $25,000 advance for his ‘Ghazalnus and the Gardens of Imagination,’ which Abdulrahman has now translated into English as ‘I Stared at the Night of the City.'”
“Nobody knows where the red line is any more.”
The jury also gave a 5,000€ special mention to Reda Dalil’s 2016 novel “Best-seller.”