from the February 2008 issue
Translation of "Une Enfance Heureuse." Copyright Mazen Kerbaj. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2008 by Edward Gauvin. All rights reserved.
Mazen Kerbaj, born in 1975, lives and works in Beirut. His main activities are comics, paintings, and music. He has published eleven books and many short stories and drawings in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines in throughout the world. Kerbaj is also one of the founders of the Lebanese free improvisation scene, both as a trumpet player and as an active member in the MILL association, which organizes the annual Irtijal festival (www.irtijal.org) in Beirut since 2001. In 2005 he launched Al Maslakh, the first label for this music in the region (www.almaslakh.org). In 2009, after fruitful collaborations with Lebanese cult punk rock band Scrambled Eggs, he launched a new sublabel, Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu (www.johnnykafta.com), to produce alternative and experimental rock music from Lebanon. Between 2000 and 2011, Mazen Kerbaj played solo and with various groups in the Middle East, all around Europe, and in the USA.
Translated from French by Edward Gauvin
Edward Gauvin has received fellowships and residencies from PEN America, the NEA, the Fulbright program, the Lannan Foundation, and the French Embassy. His work has won the John Dryden Translation prize and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award, and been nominated for the French-American Foundation and Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prizes. Other publications have appeared in the New York Times, Tin House, Subtropics, World Literature Today, and Weird Fiction Review. The translator of almost 200 graphic novels, he is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders.
Photo credit: Vince Passaro