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’
This marks a big shakeup of the awards committee, which is a good thing both for those who stepped down -- and can thus focus on other things -- and for the award, which who knows, might turn up a different sort of book.
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
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’
Unfortunately, extra production time has not meant a smooth English version of this compelling and complex novel. The translation has too many strangely turned-out sentences, which mimic the Arabic but fail to clearly express the essence of the prose.
I certainly hope this medal---presented last night at the AUC's downtown campus---doesn't negatively impact Brooklyn Heights' chances at the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), for which it was shortlisted just three days ago.
Tonight, AUC Press will celebrate the life and writings of Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz by presenting the annual Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.
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
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