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 ›
Eslam Mosbah’s “إيموز”, trans. Raphael Cohen and published by AUC Press as Status: Emo (2013), has a wild, end-of-days atmosphere. Something is rotten in the State of Egypt, and change must be on the horizon.
You’ve seen the VIDA count, which tracks how many books, of those reviewed in mainstream publications, were by women. Recently, over at The Nation, Roxanne Gay gave a shot at tracking how many nonwhite writers’ books were reviewed (including translations).
Although it became “The Corpse Washer” in English translation, Sinan Antoon’s second novel was originally titled وحدها شجرة الرمان, “The Pomegranate Alone.”
This summer, an English translation of Mahmoud Saeed’s 1970 novel, Ben Barka Lane, came out from Interlink Books, trans. Kay Heikkinen.
In the Chicago Tribune, I review Samah Selim’s new English translation of Jurji Zaydan’s Tree of Pearls. I also have a sidebar discussion with Selim on translating the novel (nearly) a century after its publication. As part of this, I spoke to… Read More ›
My review of Hadiya Hussein’s Beyond Love, beautifully translated by Ikram Masmoudi (chapeau Ikram) has been released from the Egypt Independent print edition into the wider world. Next, interviews with Masmoudi and Hussein, isA.
But this love is not just your typical boy-girl story: The novel is about the love of one’s country – specifically of Egypt at the height of its corruption.
From the Egypt Independent: How can a young Lebanese woman define — and defend — the borders of her body, as external forces push and pull, assault and seduce? While many recent Lebanese novels address sectarianism, war and large-scale violence, Alexandra… Read More ›
I was hanging out over at the poet Iman Mersal’s blog yesterday (hey, Iman!), and got to pondering the perennial question: Why do book reviewers exist? Aren’t they — er, we — just cruel jokesters who couldn’t write our way out of a paper lunch sack, and thus had to make it up to ourselves by pestering and/or fawning over someone who could?