11: Stillborn in Egypt, Fractured in Palestine
We spend most of this episode talking about two books: the late Arwa Salih’s Stillborn, a memoir of and reckoning with her time as a leftist student militant in Egypt in the 1970s; and Rabai al-Madhoun’s novel Fractured Destinies -- about lives constrained, conflicted and divided in Palestine.
- Arwa Salih’s The Stillborn, tr. the brilliant Samah Salim and published by Seagull Books as part of their “Arab List,” curated by Hosam Aboul-ela.
- Rabai al-Madhoun’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction-winning Fractured Destinies (published in Arabic as called Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba), tr. Paul Starkey, and extends the universe of Walid al-Dahman who first appeared in IPAF-shortlisted The Lady from Tel Aviv, tr. Elliott Colla.
- The claustrophobia was reminiscent of Mohammed Sabaaneh’s collection of political cartoons White and Black.
- For books in a constellation around The Stillborn, we mentioned: Waguih Ghali’s Beer in the Snooker Club, Naguib Mahfouz’s Adrift on the Nile, tr. Frances Liardet, Youssef Rakha’s Crocodiles, tr. Robin Moger, and Mohammed Rabie’s Otared, tr. Moger.