Banipal 39 featured "Modern Tunisian Literature" and 40 will showcase "Libyan Fiction." If there had been a 39 1/2 on young Egyptian authors, I'd have suspected that editor Samuel Shimon had a really good set of voodoo dolls over there at 1 Gough Square.
It's surely too soon to hope that Moammar Ghaddafi may be headed off on a trip with his friend Mr. Ben Ali. Of course, if he did retire to the KSA, he could spend much more time on his short stories, which---according to a Guardian books blog review---need a bit more, er, coherence.
The book presumably draws on Matar's personal history: In 1990, his father, Jaballa Matar, was kidnapped in Cairo and extradited to Tripoli as a political dissident. Since then, his family heard little about Jaballa Matar's fate; Hisham described the torturous silence this in a piece for the Gaurdian last January. You can find out more at freematar.org.
An un-missable literary event is taking place in London this weekend: the World Literature Weekend. The event I most regret not attending is the translators' smackdown between Sarah Ardizzone and Frank Wyne, both of whom have translated a short story by Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou. According to Ardizzone over at the Guardian books blog: It's … Continue reading You Missed Khoury, But Hurry: Still Souief, Matar, Ben Jelloun, Rahimi, and Translator Smackdown!