"But men / but the wind push her out on the cliff. / She watches the ocean / she would like to hurl herself into the ocean / to drink up the ocean."
On August 7, Moroccan-Dutch author Naima El Bezaz took her own life. She was 46.
"I also believe writing should be accessible. This era needs a kind of writing that can reach the new generation, connect with their emotional lives, and encourage them to enjoy reading. That calls for clear, simple writing which draws its subjects, its metaphors, and its aesthetic from today’s language and imagination."
In this episode of Bulaq, the fifty-first, co-hosts Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey talk about Morocco’s most infamous secret prison.
The prize went to Moroccan writer Youssouf Amine Elalamy for his novel C’est beau, la guerre:
"of footfalls that never return / from the checkpoint / which only sends back bodies;"
"He hummed a favorite tune as he went about his gruesome chore. When he was finished, he arranged the body parts in two garbage bags. Then he cleaned the floor, showered, and put on a change of clothes. He stretched out on the bed, lit a cigarette, and took a deep, delicious, triumphant puff."
ArabLit Editor Nadia Ghanem surveys the twentieth- and twenty-first century Moroccan literature available in English.
"Al-Yūsī’s orientation, and Morocco’s orientation at the time, was toward the south. It’s something that we don’t think about today."
"It’s not quite the same as a purely autobiographical text, but it’s almost more interesting for that. They’re more like mini-essays. I do think that the work, for that reason, can be read by people who aren’t interested in seventeenth-century Morocco."
Among the features is a literary playlist for Youssef Fadel's "Years of Lead" trilogy.
They got nothing except / Seven sheepskins on hard floors / The Sultan’s black and white photograph on blank walls / A guerba of goat skin full of well water / Broken jugs, hay-stuffed rucksack pillows & clay plates