“She takes issue with how literary contributions by Saudi female writers have been dismissed as belonging to a ‘chick-lit genre’ by offering a rereading of Saudi novelist Seba al-Herz’s ‘The Others.’ She invites us to think of the work as a critique of ‘secular nationalism and the secular-nationalist intellectual, which have hitherto framed the Arabic literary canon.'”
Emirati author and columnist Eman Al Yousuf has published two short-story collections and two novels, the latter of which, Guardian of the Sun, was co-winner of first prize at the 2016 Emirates Novel Awards in 2016. A review and an excerpt: Guardian of… Read More ›
In his second novel, Youssef’s Disappointment خيبة يوسف (Dar Al-Adab, 2017), Fawzi Zabyan uses a story of two friends to shine a spotlight on political parties in Lebanon.
“We often succumb to the typical method of writing reviews about novels and books, and I think we should embrace more experimentation.”
“Gaza Weddings,” first published in Arabic in 2004, is part of Nasrallah’s Palestinian Comedy project, an eight-novel series in the spirit of Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine.
“Reading ‘The Orange Grove’ with my journalist’s eye, I am tempted to pick fault with it[.]”
The collection’s best stories — of which there are many — aren’t interested in djinn as a site of the exotic, wish-granting imaginary. Instead, they employ djinn in tales that move sideways to explore cruelty or loss, adolescence or injustice.
“Here, we are confronted with the question: In our act of reading, are we down there with the narrator or are we up there with the drone?”
“The narrator Abla/Loula tells her story – alternating between the two sides of her schizophrenic self – against the background of the turbulent political times that followed the January 25th revolution.”
“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.”
“As a translator, one of the most impressive and delightful feats in the English version is where Nada and her father unwind in the evening by playing a beloved poetry game.”
“…it’s a fast-paced, novella-length work, reminiscent of Muriel Spark’s ‘Driver’s Seat’, both for its black humor and for the way its characters slide precipitously into danger.”