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In Hassan Blasim’s “The Song of the Goats,” hundreds of Iraqis “were waiting in queues to tell their stories. The police intervened to marshal the crowd, and the main street opposite the radio station was closed to traffic....
Baghdad’s Al-Mutanabbi Street is perhaps the longest-lived book-selling neighborhood in the world. According to scholar Muhsin al-Musawi, the current bookshops on Al-Mutanabbi Street exist where, hundreds of years before, there was an Abbasid-...
The book about Iraq most well-known to English readers is perhaps Chris Kyle’s best-selling “American Sniper,” a memoir told from behind the barrel of a gun. Other popular English books set in Iraq have been written either by US...
In the early morning hours of Saturday 9 February, the publishing world lost one of its great literary champions. That is when Werner Mark Linz, long-time director of the American University in Cairo Press, died peacefully after a struggle with...
Readers often ask why no Arab or Muslim authors are writing books like the “Harry Potter” or “Narnia” series. Now, there is a new fantasy novel to compete with these: “Alif the Unseen.” G. Willow Wilson, whose...
Sophia al-Maria’s story begins at night, 80 miles outside of al-Hasa oasis in eastern Saudi Arabia. It begins decades before her birth, and thousands of miles away from the city where she will be born. Her young father, Matar, is from al-...
This year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction shortlist, announced in Tunis on Wednesday night, was a surprise to many. Internationally acclaimed authors Elias Khoury, Muhsin al-Ramli, Waciny Laredj, and Hoda Barakat were not to be found...
The judges on the panel of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction have come out with their list of the year’s best Arabic novels. But Egypt Independent wanted to know what prominent regional writers really enjoyed reading in 2012. What...
On Tuesday night, judges announced that Egyptian author Ezzat al-Kamhawi’s generational novel “Bayt al-Deeb” (“House of al-Deeb”) had won the 2012 Naguib Mahfouz Medal. The ceremony was held as scheduled, at the...
The release of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) longlist was overshadowed Thursday by the previous day’s clashes outside Egypt’s presidential palace. Nonetheless, publishers and authors held muted celebrations for the...