In 1993, the Egyptian poet and writer Iman Mersal picked up an unknown novel by a forgotten writer from the 60s. And so began her long wanderings in search of Enayat El Zayat. El Zayat killed herself in 1963, four years before her book “Love and Silence” was finally published. Mersal’s portrait of El Zayat is a remarkable work of research, empathy and imagination.
This episode focuses on Iman Mersal’s In the Footsteps of Enayat al-Zayyat (في أثر عنايات الزيات), published by Kotob Khan Books in late 2019.
The author Enayat al-Zayyat (1936-63) finished one novel, which was published in 1967.
Love and Silence (الحب و الصمت) was recently republished and is available on Google Play.
Al-Zayyat was also working on a second novel, based around the German Egyptologist Ludwig Keimar; you can read Isolde Lehnert on Keimar.