This excerpt from Bushra al-Maqtari’s What Have You Left Behind is a companion to our discussion with translator Sawad Hussain: “On Translating Trauma, and What To Do After Reading About Yemen.”
“I have what I like to call an “ideal” reader. I write for that reader. I wouldn’t be able to lift a pen if I had to think of every type of reader.”
“And it’s not right for those conversations and insights to be documented only in English, a language that some of those same theatre-makers would find difficult to access, and not in Arabic.”
A few upcoming events taking place online.
“The Yemeni public loves writing laced with irony and sarcasm. And Yemeni readers understand when an author is directing barbs at those who deserve it, like religious leaders, the military and politicians.”
“It might come as a surprise to you to know that I am writing historical essays on the origins of Yemenis.”
Yet poetry, in its various forms, plays an important role in Yemeni society.
Yes, yes, they’re supposed to be Friday links. But so it goes.
When I read from Susannah Tarbush that Yemeni intellectuals were boycotting the Sana’a book fair, I thought it an echo of the book-fair fracas in Kuwait.