Forthcoming: Posthumous Collection of Radwa Ashour’s Writing

Last week, on what would've been Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour's 73rd birthday, Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti announced a new collection of her work.

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?)

When (Arab) Poets Write Prose

Baheyya begins her review of Mourid Bargouti's 2009 memoir I Was Born There, I Was Born Here by stating: "It’s a wonderful thing when poets write prose." This is certainly true of Bargouti. His first memoir, I Saw Ramallah, which was released in English in 2000 (translated by award-winning author Ahdaf Soueif), is not just … Continue reading When (Arab) Poets Write Prose

Update on Barghouti’s /I Was Born There, I Was Born Here/

Bibliophiles take note: Palestinian poet Mourid Bargouti's new memoir is set to come out in  in English next fall from American University in Cairo Press. The translation of Bargouti's second memoir, I Was Born There, I Was Born Here (ولدت هناك، ولدت هنا), is being done by Humphrey Davies. Davies also translated Elias Khoury's Gate … Continue reading Update on Barghouti’s /I Was Born There, I Was Born Here/

Reading Challenge Update: Shakir Mustafa’s Top 5

Shakir Mustafa (not, you know, Mustafa Shakir) has finally turned in his reading challenge picks. Mustafa is the editor and translator of the excellent Contemporary Iraqi Fiction: An Anthology. I found many gems in the collection, but was a particular fan of the first two stories: "The Turtle Grandmother" and "Yusuf's Tales," by Muhammad Khodayyir. … Continue reading Reading Challenge Update: Shakir Mustafa’s Top 5