Almost as soon as it was published in 1990, Ahmed Bouanani’s great novel, L’Hôpital, disappeared. Not until two decades later, in 2012, was it re-released in both Morocco and France to international acclaim. Bouanani (1938–2011) was a Moroccan writer, poet, filmmaker, and illustrator, and a leading figure of the Moroccan intelligentsia of his time. He is the author of four published works—L’Hôpital and three books of poetry—though much of his writing is as yet unpublished. Bouanani contributed poetry and essays to Souffles, a literary journal run by a group of artists and intellectuals, including Abdellatif Laâbi, who created a new literary aesthetic for their generation of writers. Bouanani left behind chests full of unpublished manuscripts, drawings, and screenplays. Although much of Bouanani’s work still awaits publication, Lara Vergnaud’s English translation of The Hospital is forthcoming from New Directions.
Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, RI, where she also co-owns Riffraff bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of the PEN Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, and an NEA Translation Fellowship. Her translations include Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, Virginie Despentes’s Pretty Things, Kamel Daoud's Zabor, or the Psalms, and Abdellah Taïa's A Country for Dying.