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'Contemporary Iraqi Fiction' gathers work from 16 Iraqi writers. Shedding a light on the diversity of Iraqi experience, the anthology includes selections by Iraqi women, Jews, Christians and Muslims, both those living in Iraq and abroad. The stories are united in writing about a homeland that has known suffering.
This indispensible guide to modern Arabic literature in English translation features not only a comprehensive bibliography but also chapters on fiction, drama, poetry, and autobiography, as well as a special chapter on Iraq's Arabic literature. By focusing on Najib Mahfuz, one of Arabic Literature's luminaries, and on poetry--a major, if not the major genre of the region-- Altoma assesses the progress made towards a wider reception of Arabic writing throughout the western world.
This dazzling anthology features the work of seventy-nine outstanding writers from all over the Arab-speaking world, from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east, Syria in the north to Sudan in the south. Edited by Denys Johnson-Davies, called by Edward Said “the leading Arabic-to-English translator of our time,” this treasury of Arab voices is diverse in styles and concerns, but united by a common language. It spans the full history of modern Arabic literature, from its roots in western cultural influence at the end of the nineteenth century to the present-day flowering of Naguib Mahfouz’s literary sons and daughters. Among the Egyptian writers who laid the foundation for the Arabic literary renaissance are the great Tawfik al-Hakim; the short story pioneer Mahmoud Teymour; and Yusuf Idris, who embraced Egypt’s vibrant spoken vernacular. An excerpt from the Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih’s novel Season of Migration to the North, one of the Arab world’s finest, appears alongside the Libyan writer Ibrahim al-Koni’s tales of the Tuaregs of North Africa, the Iraqi writer Mohamed Khudayir’s masterly story “Clocks Like Horses,” and the work of such women writers as Lebanon’s Hanan al-Shaykh and Morocco’s Leila Abouzeid. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From 1970 until his death in 2000, Hafiz Asad ruled Syria with an iron fist. His regime controlled every aspect of daily life. Seeking to preempt popular unrest, Asad sometimes facilitated the expression of anti-government sentiment by appropriating the work of artists and writers, turning works of protest into official agitprop. Syrian dissidents were forced to negotiate between the desire to genuinely criticize the authoritarian regime, the risk to their own safety and security that such criticism would invite, and the fear that their work would be co-opted as government propaganda, as what miriam cooke calls “commissioned criticism.” In this intimate account of dissidence in Asad’s Syria, cooke describes how intellectuals attempted to navigate between charges of complicity with the state and treason against it. A renowned scholar of Arab cultures, cooke spent six months in Syria during the mid-1990s familiarizing herself with the country’s literary scene, particularly its women writers. While she was in Damascus, dissidents told her that to really understand life under Hafiz Asad, she had to speak with playwrights, filmmakers, and, above all, the authors of “prison literature.” She shares what she learned in Dissident Syria. She describes touring a sculptor’s studio, looking at the artist’s subversive work as well as at pieces commissioned by the government. She relates a playwright’s view that theater is unique in its ability to stage protest through innuendo and gesture. Turning to film, she shares filmmakers’ experiences of making movies that are praised abroad but rarely if ever screened at home. Filled with the voices of writers and artists, Dissident Syria reveals a community of conscience within Syria to those beyond its borders.
A collection of stories and poems by contemporary writers from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and other countries the United States considers enemies that have been translated into English.
It has been said that the difference between a language and a dialect is that a language is a dialect with an army. This title explores the tension between dynamics of literary influence and canon formation within the Arabic literary tradition. It challenges the reader to re-examine notions of translation, bilingualism, and postcoloniality.

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