Although this list does include short stories by Radwa Ashour and Salwa Bakr, it largely focuses on work by women writers who emerged in the ’90s, ’00s, and ’10s.
“Among the things I love about Radwa’s writing is her courage in confronting the unthinkable – like those atrocities I referred to a moment ago. There is room for sentiment in her writing (in some of her depictions of family relations, for instance), but ultimately she does not shy away from harsh truths, and accordingly she doesn’t spare the reader, either.”
Memoirs by women, written in Arabic, recommended by Arab authors, scholars, and publishers.
This was not the first of the firsts. Nor was it, unfortunately, the last.
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.
“Where else in Lebanon can you find comic books, including feminist comics, books on feminist theories and scholarship, literature, memoirs, and children’s books?”
“Radwa Ashour was a powerful voice among Egyptian writers of the postwar generation and a writer of exceptional integrity and courage. Her work consistently engages with her country’s history and reflects passionately upon it.”
This year, at least three significant memoirs are forthcoming in translation, all of them intimately relevant to women’s lives in 2018, from #metoo to intersectionalism and global solidarity to the fraught spaces between the performance and experience of motherhood.
Radwa Ashour hasn’t been in the news during Egypt’s revolutionary period—she was hospitalized through all of it, undergoing four surgeries—but she has nonetheless been a significant force in Egypt’s changing landscape. Ashour has effected change as a writer, a professor, and an activist.