“Providing a platform for Mamoun and other authors from the seven banned countries is even more important in a time when the US is shutting its borders and stoking racist xenophobia. But work like hers should not be forced to exist in a space defined primarily by the narrative of security. Eventually, I hope readers pick up these stories for their emotional intimacy, depictions of urban alienation, and blurred lines between reality and the imaginary.”
“As Max and I read more short stories about Khartoum for the collection, we began to notice that Gaetano’s focus on a bus was far from unique.”
“To start with, a literary work is subject to taxes and customs, whereas a religious book is not.”
“Although this novel interrogates the ‘North-South’ relationship, it is very different from the seminal work by El Sir’s famous uncle, Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North.”
“What I can say, with utter confidence, is this is a shortlist that looks like no other; a shortlist that has brought pieces of work that might otherwise have gone unrecognised into conversation with each other…”
“In short, the task they had given themselves was to use what people call ‘the transformative power of theatre’ to foster debate, cohesion and self-reflection in the Two Sudans.”
English PEN just announced the winners of their “PEN Promotes” and “PEN Translates” awards. Among the four “PEN Promotes” titles is Comma Press’s forthcoming Book of Khartoum, ed. Raph Cormack and Max Shmookler.
“On Thursday, Sept. 24, Sudanese poet Al-Saddiq al-Raddi will launch ‘He Tells Tales of Meroë: Poems for the Petrie Museum.'”
The majority of winners are translated from translated from Spanish (4), French (3), and German (2), but there are also books from the Danish, Tamil, Mandarin, and Arabic.
Khartoum’s popular used-book fair, temporarily shuttered because of the fear of government crackdowns on civil society, was back yesterday: The popular, vibrant used-book fair had been stopped at the end of last year, just before the shutdown of the Sudanese Writers Union…. Read More ›
Now, Mahfouz Bushra writes, Sudanese voices against the award have grown even louder.
“[A]s a direct effect, the banning halts the process of building a counter discourse, a discourse that contributes something to the idea of the citizen and equality.”