Ursula and Marcia talk about the novel Tales of Yusuf Tadros – about a Coptic Christian and aspiring artist living in the provinces -- and the playful, genre-bending Kayfa Ta (“How To”) series. They also discuss sexism in literature and whether we can do without the Nobel Prize for Literature. Show notes
The Center for Translation Studies at The American University in Cairo will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020, and to commemorate nine years of CTS lectures—MLQ gave one in 2013—the head of the center, Dr. Samia Mehrez, is bringing together an anthology of essays. The book will be coming out from AUC Press in English, and an Arabic edition will follow.
The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction was Palestinian-Jordanian novelist Ibrahim Nasrallah’s Dog War II. MLQ had predicted a win for Aziz Mohammed’s The Critical Case of ‘K,’ so her streak of incorrect IPAF predictions is unbroken. You can read excerpts from all six shortlisted books in English translation and an additional one from Dog War II from Wen-chin Ouyang.
The Naguib Mahfouz Medal-winning Tales of Yusuf Tadros, by Adel Esmat, tr. Mandy McClure, is available from Hoopoe Fiction. You can read an extract of the translation online.
The Nobel Prize for Literature has been cancelled for 2018. Tim Parks suggests “The Nobel Prize for Literature Is a Scandal All by Itself” and Ron Charles, at the Washington Post, suggests “The Nobel Prize in literature takes a year off. Let's make it two.” Also: “Junot Díaz withdraws from Sydney Writers' festival following sexual harassment allegations.”
You can find the Kayfa Ta project’s Arabic originals and English translations at kayfa-ta.com. That’s where you can download a PDF of Haytham al-Wardani’s How to Disappear translated by Jennifer Peterson and Robin Moger, or in the Arabic. Iman Mersal’s How to Mend: On Motherhood and Its Ghosts is also available in Arabic. Robin Moger’s English translation should be forthcoming somewhere this year.