"We ran poetry by established and emerging poets -- and talked about how women's poetry in Arabic has changed since the '90s -- published a short story from Iraq, rounded up lists of short stories available online, spoke to writers and scholars, and focused our "Lit & Found" feature on work by women."
"This is an art that is not meant for the elites, it is meant for the people in the streets. People, I should add, who are perhaps a bit disheartened but still alert, and whose gaze is not fixed on the ground but looks up towards the sky."
As far as we know, there is not an anthology of work by Syrian women writers, in English translation.
Meanwhile, in an August episode of the new podcast MAQSOUDA, co-hosted by Farah Chamma and Zeina Hashem Beck, the host-poets discuss Mersal's «فكرة البيوت», or "The Idea of Houses."
"At the time of writing the novella, I was preoccupied with a question: Is there is free will? Naturally, this question led to others: And how does it fit in a socially controlled life? How can individuals who arrived to London, not by choice, escape the new constraints?"
Although this list does include short stories by Radwa Ashour and Salwa Bakr, it largely focuses on work by women writers who emerged in the '90s, '00s, and '10s.
"Of course, I do enjoy painting for you, right now, a slightly more calamitous situation than the one I actually face – I blame Algerian fiction’s long love affair with tragedies for my theatrics. But the truth is still harsh."
"I am a committed writer or maybe I am an obsessed writer. I am obsessed by occupation because I live it. I witness the atrocities of occupation. I witness and live through those atrocities and still am living them."
We hope to see more Algerian women's writing in translation. For now, we recommend these four stories, all translated from French.