The Invisible Moroccan: Reading Hassan Najmi’s ‘Gertrude,’ Reading Tangiers

In Hassan Najmi’s “Gertrude” (trans. Roger Allen, 2014), the author quietly inserts a Moroccan from Tangiers into the tumultuous turn-of-the-20th-century lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. This quietness echoes with the oddness and invisibility of Tanjawi Moroccans in the works of American authors who spent time in the international zone — Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, and others.

Literary Views of Gamal Abdel Nasser

Sixty years after the 1952 revolution, the legacy of both Gamal Abdel Nasser and his regime remain fraught territory. Was Abdel Nasser a true friend of the poor? Was he an enemy of Islam (or just all dissidents)? How should he be remembered? Abdel Nasser has been the subject of a number of literary depictions over the last half-century, from laudatory to humorous to critical.