“This is the third year that Slightly Foxed, a literary quarterly and independent publisher, has sponsored this award, which is worth £3,500.”
“To help me explore Hisham Matar’s The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land In Between (2016), I ordered a sneeze-inducing, water-stained copy of Knud Holmboe’s Desert Encounter: An Adventurous Journey Through Italian Africa (my copy was printed in 1937), re-read parts of Alessandro Spina’s Confines of the Shadow epic, and even, among other things, pulled Dante off the shelf.”
“If there is a villain in this book, it is not Muammar Ghaddafi, who we never see. It is his bald son Seif[.]”
“[Y]ou cannot be neutral towards this novel.”
“I am a sucker for any of his novels with a Sufi edge.”
“Settling is the death of nomads: the scarecrow, then, is the fate of settling down.”
“William M. Hutchins’ translation of New Waw: Saharan Oasis masterfully channels the poetic rhythms of Ibrahim al-Koni’s tale of a group of Tuareg, struggling with their evolution from a nomadic tribe to a settled community and the tensions that inevitably arise.”
“There are few names in the narrative, and only a few characters who appear throughout the novel to guide the reader through. It is easier to regard the landscape as the only consistent character.”
The American Literary Translators Association yesterday announced the shortlists for the 2015 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose, and Ibrahim al-Koni’s “New Waw,” trans. William Hutchins, made the cut.
“I decided to translate him after reading the first few pages of ‘The Confines of the Shadow,’ so almost immediately.”
Yesterday, poet and translator Khaled Mattawa was on NPR’s “Here & Now,” talking about poetry and translation, and most of all how translation has informed his own work.
The last month has been a tense time in Benghazi. Hundreds have died in the fight for Libya’s second city, and literary hopes — like others — have been put on hold. But Nada Elfeituri still writes, and still holds a candle for the “Young Writers of Benghazi” group.