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.
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?)
Which is was why I was particularly grateful that the British-Libyan poet, surgeon, and blogger Ghazi Gheblawi recorded his impressions of last night's Tamim Barghouti, Mourid Barghouti, Ahdaf Soueif event via Twitter.
Aha! You're expecting me to say Barghouti's I Was Born There, I Was Born Here, which I would, except you already know you want to read Barghouti's follow-up memoir, which should be out in English next fall from AUC Press. (The translation, I'm told, is being done by Humphrey Davies.)
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
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/
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