“But also, I honestly do think that he himself, just in the act of publishing with a non-Moroccan publisher…he is reaching for a larger audience. And I don’t mean that in a commercial sense. I think he would like to reach readers beyond Morocco. Frankly, I don’t blame him, when books in Morocco sell in the dozens.”
“Unfortunately, not all the works that deserve to be translated reach this goal, and Arabs have a responsibility in this. Our national cultural institutions don’t make any effort to promote our literature.”
“I prefer…to place the novel into a certain constellation of recent works that are set in imaginary (or semi-imaginary) yet entirely recognizable settings – works such as The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, Otared by Mohammed Rabie, Paul Beatty’s Sellout, Dave Eggers’ A Hologram for the King, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. “
These two characters—who are both similar and opposite—could be fodder for slapstick. But Fadel plays it differently. The novel’s “comic” sections are discomfortingly tragic, while the tragic scenes are often darkly funny.
“It’s a comedy, both in the modern and ancient senses of the word, where his author allows the reader a laugh off fictional lives and events in order to make us think about reality and its contradictions.”
“Ten years after his release, to honor his comrades who died in prison, he wrote a memoir, ‘Tazmamort.'”
Last year’s Prix Goncourt — France’s most prestigious literary award — went to Moroccan writer Leila Slimani for her Chanson Douce. Why this novel? What work does this prize do? From an essay that originally appeared in Arabic on Al… Read More ›
What’s going on in the fictional Moroccan classroom?
“Also yesterday, Lebanese-American novelist Rabih Alameddine took this year’s Prix Femina Étranger for ‘Les Vies de papier’ (the French version of ‘An Unnecessary Woman’), as translated by Nicolas Richard. “
The jury also gave a 5,000€ special mention to Reda Dalil’s 2016 novel “Best-seller.”
“Complete with fight scenes, love scenes, and warrior women, this epic follows a woman and her son and their posse of friends as they move back and forth primarily in the Arab-Byzantine borderlands, with visits to Constantinople and to the caliph’s court in Baghdad.”
[T]he Media and Expression Liberties Organisation and House of Wisdom, “criticised the prosecution in separate statements, calling it a ‘crackdown on freedom of expression and creativity.'”