For those who might have missed some of our 2020 Women in Translation Month (#WiTMonth) coverage, a look back.
"I am very disciplined. I wake up early every morning and begin work on my own novels and poems. Then I take care of my cats and others' work."
Yet the thing that translates so easily about al-Khansa is her self-belief. It is quite easy for any of us in 2020 to imagine a woman poet being praised in such a meager way, "Not bad for someone with boobs." And responding with a sharp-tongued jab at a man's nether regions.
The Frightened Ones was shortlisted for the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction; its English translation came out in the UK in April and was published in the US last week.
"Beirut / I dreamed you were invaded / and awoke to the noise of destruction"
"There is very little Arabic poetry by women translated to English; for Women in Translation Month (#WiTMonth), we offer a brief look at ten poets. Of the women writers listed -- an eclectic list of personal favorites and by no means canon -- only one, Iman Mersal, has a collection traditionally published in English translation"
In this psychologically astute, page-turning novel, the reader must root for Camelia. But they also can't help but understand the other characters, too.
"I was not sure about how good or bad of an idea it was to publish my book (the Arabic original at least) during this pandemic time, but I thought: What about the babies who will be delivered now? I know timing a book is easier than timing a life, but we can never guarantee what happens later; there’s always risk no matter what we do."
"They say this city was once beautiful."
"I would love for her entire corpus to be translated, particularly given that what little has been so far is highly unrepresentative of her overall body of literature."
"But men / but the wind push her out on the cliff. / She watches the ocean / she would like to hurl herself into the ocean / to drink up the ocean."
For Women in Translation Month (#WiTMonth), we focus on three Maghrebi women writing in Dutch.