“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.”
The Journey of Hyenas (2013) by Egyptian writer Soheir al-Musadafah, sets the a story of a woman’s seventh-century slavery against the present day.
Hanan al-Shaykh’s latest novel — The Virgins of Londonistan — was released in late November at this year’s Beirut Book Fair. Reviewer Mishka Mojabber Mourani found it to be both flirtatious and important.
Reviewer Alexandra Atiya found a challenge to received ideas of masculinity in Iraqi novelist Muhsin al-Ramli’s “Dates on My Fingers” (2014), translated by Luke Leafgren.
We have become so accustomed to thinking of religion as a place of singularity in human identity that Diary of a Jewish Musilm gives all the shock in translation that author Kamal Ruhayyim surely intended in the original.
Today would have been Saudi-Iraqi novelist Abdelrahman Munif’s 81st birthday. Although a great craftsman of the 20th century Arabic novel, his literary legacy goes largely un-celebrated.
It’s been a long time since I’ve felt myself burrow as deeply inside a character as I did inside Myriam, the narrator of Iman Humaydan’s “Other Lives,” translated into English by Michelle Hartman and recently released by Interlink.
A novel where the “days are all much the same, bringing nothing new” is a difficult thing to pull off. And Fahd al-Atiq’s “Life on Hold,” trans. Jonathan Wright, couldn’t be characterized as a page-turner. But the book does manage to craft a compelling narrative about the contradictions of contemporary Riyadh even as the protagonist remains stranded in nowhere-land
From a review in Full Stop Magazine: Rabee Jaber’s The Mehlis Report, translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, is a genre-bending historico-fantastical murder-mystery that moves the borders between life and death. The novel centers on Lebanon’s highest-profile murder — that of former Prime… Read More ›