The Iraqi ‘Irvine Kafka Poe’

The comparison is both oddly specific and also strangely unhelpful: Blasim is “Iraq’s Irvine Welsh.” Yes, yes, Irvine Welsh is a name I should instantly recognize. But to be honest, I had forgotten why. Irvine, my brain said. Irvine, California? Worse, my brain had linked the name "Irvine Welsh" to novels and screenplays by the American writer Peter Hedges.

Enass Khansa and Bilal Orfali on Editing a Series of Classical Arabic Texts for Young Readers

"Something that I was aware of growing up in Syria, but more now that I’m in Lebanon, is that classical Arabic literature is associated with many things, but it’s not associated with being a space for creative and experimental thinking. So I think the main idea for both of us with this is experimental."