Summer of Lock-in Lit: Sonallah Ibrahim’s ‘Arsène Lupin’

“Look, there’s no novels,” a voice suddenly boomed directly above my head. “We don’t sell novels.”

Sonallah Ibrahim’s ’67’: Oppression and Its Unintended Consequences

"To write about [1967] is to foreground it yet again; not to write about it is to consign oneself to live with the illusion of its insignificance. . . . The way out of this double bind is to do both at the same time: this may explain why the 67 war is invoked in the title of the novel but is almost entirely absent from the preoccupations of the narrative."

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?)

Sonallah Ibrahim Takes the Proust Questionnaire

Ursula Lindsay has a lovely interview with Sonallah Ibrahim in The National, on the occasion of his novel التلصص (Stealth) appearing in English. As someone who was only allowed 570 words to write about this amazing book, I'm quite jealous. Lindsay notes, on her post about the interview/review on The Arabist, that Ibrahim had been … Continue reading Sonallah Ibrahim Takes the Proust Questionnaire