04 Mar 2012
The spark at the center of Hassouna Mosbahi’s short novel, “A Tunisian Tale,” is a human immolation. As in the real Tunisia, this death by burning launches a thousand stories. The book also echoes revolutionary Tunisia in...
29 Feb 2012
“He who passes place and time lightly,
Doesn’t let place enslave him, or time waste him”
(From “The Beauty of the Passenger” by Lebanese poet Wadi’ Sa’dah)
These verses seem to best reflect the...
26 Feb 2012
Ahdaf Soueif’s “Cairo: My City, Our Revolution” is an addition to the blossoming genre of “revolution diary” literature. It is also a challenge to the genre, a scuffling of it.
Part of what Soueif does...
16 Feb 2012
The tragedy of Madam Margaret Fahmy — or Mounira Fahmy as she later named herself — has been told before. The story of the French woman who killed her Egyptian husband, Prince Ali Fahmy, following an intense relationship, in...
12 Feb 2012
A handful of minor international celebrities have risen out of the uprising that heaved through the country a year ago, but few have captured the imagination of a media hungry for the perfect revolutionary narrative like Wael Ghonim has....
07 Feb 2012
From the outset, the 43rd Cairo International Book Fair was surrounded by controversy. The government called for postponing it due to security concerns, but many opposed the move. The Egyptian Publishers Association warned that the fair...
05 Feb 2012
There is an ad-hoc quality to this year's Cairo International Book Fair, as if it had been thrown together at the last possible moment. The fairgrounds' permanent buildings, which were torn down more than a year ago to make...
02 Feb 2012
The violent clashes on Wednesday after a football game between the Ahly and Masry teams in Port Said have brought Egyptian ultras back into the spotlight. Are they really the aggressive and extremist groups of young men that the media...
31 Jan 2012
Next week, the winners of the annual Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation will be celebrated in London.
When the awards were announced in mid-January, it came as no surprise that Khaled Mattawa took the top award for his...
29 Jan 2012
The title of Bensalem Himmich's 2008 novel, "Haza al-Andalusi!" ("This Andalusian!"), is as subdued in Arabic as it is attention-grabbing in English. In translation, it becomes "A Muslim Suicide," a title...