Yesterday, the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) announced the longlists for the 2020 National Translation Awards (NTA) in Poetry and Prose. Two works translated from Arabic -- a novel and a collection of interlinked short stories -- made the twelve-book longlist for prose.
"What the law means is that banning will no longer be the default position, whereby, like in the case of Mama Hessa's Mice, the author has to go to court, at great personal expense, to get it unbanned. Instead the person who wants it banned would have to go to court for a ruling."
"So Um Qasem decides to get up before dawn and make off with a donkey called “Good Omen,” who is both her trusty steed and her Sancho Panza."
"It was fascinating to see the individual, private act of reading transform into a collective, public act of resistance by people from different age groups, nationalities, ethnicities, and political and religious values."
Bothayna Al-Essa -- the founder of Takween, a platform for creative writing, a publishing house, and a bookshop -- recommended five of her favorite books.
"I was surprised that they chose this novel, although at the same time I understand why it was chosen, because it's my most popular novel, and it's about women's struggles, and that's what Western readers are interested in."
"For instance, there is a focus on women, particularly the two women characters in Mama Hessa’s Mice: Mama Hessa and Ghanema Al Tarrof. Those two characters -- who I wrote spontaneously, since they're from our reality -- didn’t draw much attention from the Arabic-language readers."
According to AFP, Saad al-Anzi, who heads the fair, said the information ministry had banned 948 books from among those screened for the fair.
"My novels are the result of the investigation, and I did not write the novel until I started listening to the people’s opinions."
“No Arab writer ever makes that kind of money,” he says. Alrefai’s wife Shoroq also urges him to take payment. “What about our financial problems? My love, please forget about those wretched communist principles you believe in this one time.”
The great novelist Ismail Fahd Ismail (1940-2018) died Tuesday. He was 78.
How does the Ministry of Information in Kuwait oversight committee manage to ban 4390 books in five years?