"It reminds us of the colonial narratives advancing how the colonized people are in desperate need of saving."
The comparison is both oddly specific and also strangely unhelpful: Blasim is “Iraq’s Irvine Welsh.” Yes, yes, Irvine Welsh is a name I should instantly recognize. But to be honest, I had forgotten why. Irvine, my brain said. Irvine, California? Worse, my brain had linked the name "Irvine Welsh" to novels and screenplays by the American writer Peter Hedges.
"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 the Sun: The Wish for Survival By Hend Saeed Emirati writer Eman Al Yousuf’s Guardian … Continue reading Review and Translated Excerpt: Eman Al Yousuf’s ‘Guardian of the Sun’
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."