“You cross the bridge suspended over the canal. Colored ships slowly glide across the surface of blue waters below. Now and then, from beyond the hills of fine sand, a date palm emerges, a village, some people. Fish dart across the lake and a swarthy, dusty child poses for the camera, stick in hand.”
“There were 239 submissions from twenty countries, with the lion’s share coming from Egypt (90), followed by Iraq (20), Jordan (19), Morocco (19), Syria (13), Algeria (11), Saudi (11), Palestine (11), Yemen (9), Sudan (8), Tunisia (8), Bahrain (5), Oman (3), Qatar (3), Lebanon (3), Kuwait (2), Libya (1), Chad (1), Belgium (1), and the UK (1).”
″A man of principles was forced to swallow an insult. He choked and died. As for the bootlicker, he chased after the insult with all his might, fearing that he would die of hunger.″
The fat policeman entered the tomb, walked a few bewildered moments, then shouted with a stretched voice: “Omar Khayyám!”
As a translated story, the prize money will be split 70/30, with £7,000 going to the author and £3,000 to the translator.
Hisham Bustani Awarded Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Residency to Work on Forthcoming Short-story Collection
“The residency, set for October, will give Bustani a chance to finish his upcoming book of short stories, to be published by Kotob Khan and launched at the 2018 Cairo International Book Fair.”
The last short story translated from the Arabic to make a Caine Prize shortlist was Tunisian writer Hassouna Mosbahi’s “The Tortoise,” trans. Peter Clark. It made the shortlist in 2001.
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.
“He could feel himself getting hotter and his heart beating furiously: apartment, car, cell phone, sexy girl, shiny glass buildings … threshold to HERE. “
Iraq is often portrayed as a place that has always been violent and always will be. By germinating new narrative possibilities, Iraq + 100 provides new ways of imagining the next century that go beyond seeing the present as eternal.
“He was sitting, motionless, his face frozen as though sculpted from stone, staring into nothingness as though he had lost his hearing or his sight.”
Maarouf, in a celebratory Facebook post, called this a “win for the short story,” which has often been sidelined in favor of support and promotion for the novel.