5 Must-read Memoirs (and Not-quite-memoirs)

Assembly Journal, for their "five books" series, asked me to come up with a list of five Arabic books. The field was too dizzyingly wide. Even when I narrowed my topic to "memoirs and not-quite-memoirs," it was a difficult winnowing process: What about Galal Amin's Nectar of the Years? Well, it hasn't been translated into English, so that's that, I suppose. Sayyid Qutb or Huda Shaarawi's memoirs, for their historical and political importance? Taha Hussein's classic The Days? (But hasn't everyone already read The Days?)

Friday Links: International Translation Day Wrap-up, New October Issues, More

This week's major holiday---in your life, I'm sure, as in mine---was International Translation Day! PierenePress did a heroic job of twittercasting live from PEN's translation-day events; I certainly hope they write a few wrap-up thoughts about the discussions on their blog. Meanwhile, the "top 10" suggestions to come out of a discussion of how to … Continue reading Friday Links: International Translation Day Wrap-up, New October Issues, More

All Right, I Give in, Novels about Football (Soccer)

Everyone seems to be publishing lists of their must-read, English-language books about football (or soccer, where the lists are American). After all, we English speakers do seem to be terribly fond of lists. Books that are list regulars are Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch and Joe McGinniss' The Miracle of Castel di Sangro. No Arabic books … Continue reading All Right, I Give in, Novels about Football (Soccer)

My Former Jihadist Friend Signs Copies of His New Epic Novel

Last night, author Khaled al-Berry defied World Cup mania and celebrated the launch of his new novel, رقصة شرقية (Middle Eastern Dance) at Kotob Khan in New Ma'adi. The book, which just came out from Dar Al Ain, opens in 1997 as the three male leads are out (separately) buying new underwear. The year, al-Berry … Continue reading My Former Jihadist Friend Signs Copies of His New Epic Novel

Summer (Arabic) Literary Events in Cairo and the U.K.

CAIRO I think tonight, June 11, I'm going to the signing of Khaled al-Berry's new novel (I have strongly recommended his memoir, Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise). I don't see anything about it on Kotob Khan's website---where the signing is supposed to be?---but if there's no signing, I guess I'll just browse the stacks. … Continue reading Summer (Arabic) Literary Events in Cairo and the U.K.