By Essayed Taha To mark Women in Translation Month, we asked 12 Arab women authors to recommend readings by other Arab women that they have enjoyed and admired. The result […]
” I am not even sure that for my generation the hope of a homecoming is still realistically there. However, a novelist cannot be constrained to the limitations of reality; a novelist has to have a hole in the wall to see the light of the day; a novelist needs to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel somehow, because this is the way for the novelist to keep on writing their narratives.”
Coming in December: Hussein Barghouthi’s Autobiographical ‘The Blue Light,’ Two Iraqi Novels, & More
This month: four new translations of Arabic novels from Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq.
“But for me, it’s not necessary to put my hand in the fire to express its pain. What hurts my people hurts me.”
“I had learned from early childhood that Mosul was a city with two springs because autumn was like a second spring.”
One thing is bothering me. The narrator’s diction is quite high—a working-class girl from Detroit says, “I pulled into the spacious parking lot in front of Wal-Mart….” Fine. Something has elevated this character, putting her outside of ordinary American speech. I haven’t read so far that I can see the full effects, but I can appreciate the decision.
Yet Iraqi literature continues, somehow, to blossom. There are older writers Fadhil al-Azzawi and Muhammad Khudayyir still at work (although the former in exile), and much younger ones, too: Thirtysomething Iraqi Hassan Blassim has been called “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive.”