Articles tagged "Middle East"


Exiled in Europe: An Interview with Three Women Writers

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has often examined the question of exile in essays and articles. Exile is indeed a place, he has written, a desolate space where one must confront the question: “Is...

From the Archives: Graphic History

With this seventh edition of our annual graphic novel issue, we've now published close to eighty graphic works. Despite the "comics" label, many of these pieces are anything but playful, as...

The Beginning and End of the Oil Curse?

Why does oil wealth so often become a curse for developing states?  In the developing world, oil-producing states are fifty percent more likely to be ruled by autocrats, and more than twice as...

Founding Fathers

Author’s note: The Iraq in the novel is an imaginary Iraq, and I tried to use it as a symbol for all the Arab countries. Most of the characteristics of the four dictators in the novel are...

July 2011


On Etgar Keret

Phillip Lopate's essay was included in the accompanying booklet to WWB's March 5th event at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City. It is also part of our ongoing discussion of Etgar...

This Animated Life: An Interview with David Polonsky

An interview with David Polonsky, the artist behind the Oscar-nominated film and graphic novel Waltz with Bashir. A few simple descriptions would suffice to understand just how rich and strange...

“BE HERE NOW”: An Introduction to “Yalo”

"How can I describe to you what happened to Yalo…the truth, sir, the truth that only God knows, is that my memory is distorted and I don't know." Yalo takes place during Beirut's...

on Translating “Yalo”

Drake Stutesman: Yalo is interesting for the various different voices that it employs, and the ways in which it combines vernaculars, languages and perspectives into a single narrative. What do you...

from “Seven Moral Failings”

Now was the time to ask for a recommendation from David. In fact, he had already intended to raise the subject at their morning meeting, but then that student had appeared, whose name, he...

The 2007 Book Clubs are Here!

2007 Words Without Borders/Reading the World BOOK CLUBS ARE HERE ALL ARE INVITED TO READ, COMMENT, AND PARTICIPATE RTW BOOK CLUBS 2007 LINEUP: JANUARY and FEBRUARY James Marcus and...

St. Mesrop Cycle

EULOGISTIC Most holy grave of Oshakan, Soil of intellect today, from whence An illustrious history of fifteen stormy centuries, From East to West--two Armenias entire, Moves freely,...

Encounter

I have a feeling that it is a mistake to go to the party at Mr. M.'s, especially under the circumstances. Things have tightened up once more. Again scarves have to be pulled down all the way to...

from The Assembly of Secrets

This is how the story began. On that day, which was the sixth of January, 1976, Madame Sarah Nassar died, aged eighty-odd years. The death was expected. The only one to be taken by surprise was...

Who Is an Israeli Writer?

Who is an Israeli writer? Israel's dominant language is Hebrew. Its twentieth-century renovation was central to the Zionist project, it is the language of the common culture, and the equation...

The Stranger in His Own Icon

The one whom you found by chance in the mirror, whom you found, by chance, in the mirror in its dark side to be exact was there, alone, thinking of you and trying to ingratiate himself with...

A Lady Who Does Not Resemble Me

A lady who does not resemble me emerges now from her dream, still warm She opens the window to the friendly morning and tempts its birds to perch on her brocaded shawl. She then finds time to...

The Nimrod Flipout by Etgar Keret

Almost all of the thirty (very) short stories in Etgar Keret's wonderfully vivid collection, The Nimrod Flipout, take place against backdrops that are deceptively banal. Each site, though,...

I Loved You for Your Voice by Sélim Nassib

Modern Egypt is a dream unfulfilled. Independence from Britain was supposed to usher in a glorious era in which Egypt would unite the Middle East under the banner of pan-Arabism. That dream died in...

Mrs. Saniya’s Holiday

NOTE: In this portrait of a seamstress (a khiyaata) and her labors of love over the sewing machine, the holiday referred to in the title is the èEid al-Fitr, the three-day feast marking the...

The Rooster’s Egg: A Fable of Ancient Thebes

It is hard not to read this story as a lesson about the arbitrary nature of power and attendant reversals of fortune. Some historical background: Akhenaten, originally Amenhotep IV (1353-1335...

Egyptian Literature Today

As the largest Arabic-speaking country (at 70+ million inhabitants and counting), Egypt, with its teeming capital of Cairo, plays a disproportionately large role in the intellectual and cultural...

The Dark and The Daylight

NOTE: Mahmoud El-Wardani (born Cairo, 1950) has published six novels and several collections of short stories. Typically his works are dispassionate and discontinuous depictions of ambiguous,...

The Veiler of All Deeds

NOTE: Born in 1968, Hamdy Abu Golayyel is of Bedouin origin and lives in Cairo. In keeping with a growing trend in Egyptian fiction, Thieves in Retirement-the novel from which this excerpt is...

Happiness

I believe the stretcher whisked by two as the patient's coma is interrupted on it. I doubt the sympathy in the eyes that follow the scene. I respect the fisherman because he is the...

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