The Frightened Ones was shortlisted for the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction; its English translation came out in the UK in April and was published in the US last week.
We discuss the current situation in Lebanon and literature that looks at the worlds beneath our feet.
First, we talked our way through a book that tells the stories of women who rallied to ISIS; then a novel that focuses on a Franco-Moroccan family grappling with the end of colonialism; and last, a picaresque, satirical novel from 1940s Egypt that has been recently re-discovered.
In this episode of Bulaq, the fifty-first, co-hosts Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey talk about Morocco’s most infamous secret prison.
In it, ArabLit's M Lynx Qualey and her co-host Ursula Lindsey talk about the landscape and history of independent publishing in the region, our own experiences working for and launching publications, the conundrum of funding, and the magic of little magazines.
We recorded this episode in Cairo with author, translator, and Mada Masr culture editor Yasmine Zohdi.
While you're on your way to the polls -- or as you wait for results, or as you assiduously ignore what's going on in the US -- catch up on any Bulaqs you might have missed.
"The words that I fear more than anything when I’m talking to someone in Arabic is, ‘I have a joke.’ They’ll tell the joke, I’ll understand all the words, and I won’t react. Then they’ll tell it again. I’ll understand it, but I still won’t laugh. Humor is a minefield!"