Khalil Sweileh’s ‘Writing Love’

Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh's Writing Love (2008) was the surprise winner of the 2009 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.   The book, trans. Alexa Firat, is out in English as of this summer. In it, Sweileh attempts to say something new about love by constructing a circular book-about-writing-a-book that examines the nature of literature and passion. … Continue reading Khalil Sweileh’s ‘Writing Love’

Naguib Mahfouz Medal Award in Pictures

My write-up of the event is in Al Masry Al Youm. To sum up: The big surprise was that the Naguib Mahfouz Medal award went to "the revolutionary creativity of the Egyptian people" rather than to a novelist. Although this didn't seem to come as a surprise to many. (The whole article.) Someone did ask me how … Continue reading Naguib Mahfouz Medal Award in Pictures

This Year’s Naguib Mahfouz Medal ‘Will Be a Surprise’

It was December 1996 when the American University in Cairo Press (AUCP) first presented the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. The first award went to two Egyptians: Latifa al-Zayyat, for her classic The Open Door, and Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, for his exploration of Egyptian migrant workers’ lives in The Other Place. Like the newer and … Continue reading This Year’s Naguib Mahfouz Medal ‘Will Be a Surprise’

Most Underappreciated Egyptian Lit (in Translation) of 2009

I say this as though I’ve read all of the Egyptian lit published (in translation, in 2009), which I haven’t. Nonetheless: Moon over Samarqand, by Mohamed Mansi Qandil. Qandil isn’t exactly an English-language unknown; his Cloudy Day on the West Side is on the shortlist for the 2010 IPAF/"Arabic Booker," and he was the winner … Continue reading Most Underappreciated Egyptian Lit (in Translation) of 2009

Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature to Khalil Sweileh

The award--a silver medal and cash prize--has been presented each year since 1996. The medal's presented on December 11, Mahfouz's birthday. Tonight, it's to be delivered by Prof. Rasheed el-Enany. NOTE: The award went to Syrian writer Khalil Sweileh  for his novel Warrak Al-Hub, or Scribe of Love. You can read more about it at … Continue reading Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature to Khalil Sweileh