We’re back! And ready to talk about two poets who have moved into prose: the Egyptian Iman Mersal and the Palestinian Mazen Maarouf, who have written books that explore the bonds between children and parents, among other things. We also talk about the Cairo book fair’s recent make-over, and about the vibrant but struggling cultural scene in Casablanca. Show notes
Iman Mersal’s How to Mend: Motherhood and Its Ghosts was translated by Robin Moger and published by the Kayfa Tainitiative. It’s available from Neel wa Furatand Jamalonand, we hope, from good bookstores everywhere.
Mazen Maarouf’s Jokes for the Gunmen, winner of the inaugural Almultaqa Prize for the Arabic Short Story, was translated by Jonathan Wright and published by Granta. You can read the story “Portion of Jam,” from the collection, on the Granta website.
The Cairo International Book Fair (@cairobookfair), which has moved from the Nasr City Fairgrounds to the exhibition center in New Cairo, runs through February 5. Ursula has written about previous iterations hereand here.
Casablanca, nid d'artistes just came out from Malika éditions, ed. Kenza Sefri and Leïla Slimani, featuring profiles and work by 115 artists.
Here is a link to the discussionthat got the Moroccan cultural NGO Racinesin legal trouble.