I got a chill, yesterday, re-reading Mohamed Saghir al-Awlad's "The Will":
Why no Messadi in English?
Eleuch’s texts make their reader gasp, running after the fleeting tales in a nimble way that is similar to the nimbleness of “Attouga” , the most famous goalkeeper ever of the Tunisian team...
What's so special about el-Charni's stories? She has a particularly sensitive management of groups of people, managing deftly to put great variety and power in them, and also to show how they can act together, as a sort of single character, as she did for instance in the story "The Way to Poppy Street," from her 2002 collection.
"I was born into a house with no books," Selmi writes in the most recent issue of Banipal. He says he read he scarcely anything before he was 14. Early stories he remembers are those of Kamel al-Kilani (the Egyptian pioneer of modern children's literature) but Selmi attributes his love of stories less to his … Continue reading Who Has Influenced Tunisian Author Habib Selmi?
A widely quoted report this week in Tunisia Live addresses censorship in the nation.
Over at Tunisian Literature (in English), my long-lost cousin Ali Znaidi has been actively posting about "The Political Novel in Tunisia," translating an interview with poet Radhia Chehaibi, and reporting on the winners of the Golden Comar Prize 2012, among other things. Yesterday, he posted an interview with Tunisian novelist Kamel Riahi, which originally ran … Continue reading Kamel Riahi on a New Kind of Tunisian Literary Salon
Poet Ali Znaidi -- of Redeyef, Tunisia -- has opened up a new blog: Tunisian Literature (in English). I was delighted to read: Nowadays thanks to the proliferation of digital media, the task of translation in general, and the issue of cultures contact become in a way easier than before. Hence, the variety and the proliferation … Continue reading Welcome, Tunisian Literature (in English)
Tunisia's government has reversed their ban on protests on Habib Bourguiba, but book lovers are still going out today -- in the thousands, if Facebook events pages can be believed -- to read in public. “L'avenue ta9ra” -- or "The Avenue Reads -- is a collective celebration of the written word and Tunisians' right to experience it. … Continue reading If You’re in Tunis Today, Take a Book to Habib Bourguiba
Tunisian novelist Kamel Riahi has spoken previously -- at the Cairo Book Fair, among other places -- about how the "hasty stories" inspired by the Tunisian revolution do a disservice to literature. This weekend, he blogged about what he sees as one of the uglier outgrowths of this fast-lit phenomenon: Tahar Ben Jelloun's novella about … Continue reading Who Has the Right to Fictionalize Mohamed Bouazizi?
Mohamed-Salah Omri (pictured left) who grew up in Tunisia, teaches modern Arabic literature at St. John's College, Oxford. In the most recent issue of boundary 2, he writes about "A Revolution of Dignity and Poetry." I asked a few questions about his essay and particularly about its focus on poet Mohamed Sgaier Awlad Ahmed (sometimes Saghir Oulad Ahmed), who … Continue reading Q & A: The Links Between Poetry, Politics, and Revolution in Tunisia
ArabLit: What I enjoyed throughout A Tunisian Tale was the teasing humor & the pacing (even when I was being teasingly manipulated). But the most beautiful craft, I thought, was his ending. I think the language -- both with the humor and with the final section -- was really important to pin down. Did you … Continue reading 5 Questions with ‘A Tunisian Tale’ Translator Max Weiss