A Crowdsourced Thread on Palestinian Literature

#ghassankanafani _return to Haifa and other stories_, fresh out in translation is Ibrahim Nasrallah’s _Gaza Weddings_, Atef Abu Saif’s short story edit _book of Gaza_ is a delightful cornucopia or Adania Shibli’s _touch_ or Samir a azzam’s short stories…. Where to start! — Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) December 26, 2017

In the coming weeks, ArabLit will have a series on teaching with Arabic literature in translation, including Palestinian literature. For those interested in Palestinian theatre, there’s also Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora, edited by Naomi Wallace & Ismail Khalidi. You can read   a short excerpt from Jabra’s   In Search of Walid Masoud   online. His "Men in the Sun" gave me the shudders. Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone? the aforementioned Salma Khadra Jayyusi, translated by Kathie Piselli and Dick Davies. You can also download another excerpt from the book from the English publisher, Archipelago. Guthrie. He is a Palestinian-American both in Mandatory Palestine and that identity conflict (& intersection) comes through in his writings. Ooo also raja shehadeh has a beautiful book called Palestinian Walks, highly recommend
— summ (@summabis) December 26, 2017

The great Emile Habibi (1922-1996) was not forgotten. Ghasan Khanafani – Men in the Sun. Also, Words without Borders had a month dedicated to new Palestine writing https://t.co/e7pwMnYkhv
— Zito (@_Zeets) December 26, 2017

Poet Omar Sakr also mentioned Najwan Darwish’s collection, trans. These two books include less known ones. Jeffrey Sacks. Sahar Khalifeh and Jabra Ibrahim Jabra are also among the gorgeous Palestinian writers that have not been mentioned. — Bookish in Dubai (@BookishDubai) December 27, 2017

Of Palestinian authors who write in Hebrew, Anton Shammas’s classic   Arabesques,   trans. Another recommendation was the   Words Without Borders   section, from May 2015, on new Palestinian writing, selected and edited by poet Nathalie Handal. Suneela Mubayi. Her earlier book,   Sharon and My Mother-in-law   was the “One Book, Many Cities” read of 2016,   and you can read a short excerpt online. Read "Orientalism" and "Culture and Imperialism" by the late Edward Said. Kareem James Abu-Zeid, was longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award. Ibrahim Muhawi. Salma Jayusi – Another excellent author from PL
There are some out there who aren't Palestinians but have excellent books
— יוסי (@Leatheresque) December 26, 2017

Scholar Nora Parr, who has a particular interest in Palestinian literature, was the first to suggest Adania Shibli’s excellent   Touch,   translated by Paula Haydar. If you’re interested in film too, check out director Anne Marie Jacir. Abu-Zeid:

Najwan Darwish is a great Palestinian poet, his first book in English–translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid–is called Nothing More to Lose, published by New York Review of Books. Said the Pessoptimist is his best-known work, but   you can listen to excerpts of   Habibi’s Saraya, The Ogre’s Daughter: A Palestinian Fairy Tale,   trans. — Arda (@ArdaWhateverian) December 27, 2017

Lebanese poet Zeina Hashem Beck recommended Anne Marie Jacir’s new film:

That’s a beautiful thread. Of course Mahmoud Darwish was mentioned many times, although no one recommended a particular work:

Mahmoud Darwish is usually the start
— Zito (@_Zeets) December 26, 2017

The latest, posthumous, collection of Darwish’s to be published is   I Don’t Want This Poem to End:   Early and Late Poems   (2017), translated by Mohammad Shaheen, with an introduction by Elias Khoury. Alaa Hlehel
— Robin Moger (@RobinMoger) December 27, 2017

You can also check the pieces in   ArabLit’s “Palestine” section. Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury’s classic   Gate of the Sun,   translated by Humphrey Davies, also gets a mention. You can also read a piece by Abu Saif, “Over the Sound of the Drone,” published by English PEN. A River Dies of Thirst: Journals,   trans. But Darwish works to start on might include:
“Silence for the Sake of Gaza,” from   Journal of an Ordinary Grief,   trans. Meanwhile, you can read Shibli’s “On East-West Dialogue” on   The Kenyon Review,   trans. Her recent film “Wajib” is gorgeous. He is a post-colonial and culture theorist and the first book relates…
— Kay (@far_4rm_normal) December 26, 2017

Raja Shehadeh got several mentions, particularly for his Orwell-winning   Palestinian Walks. Been teaching it to undergraduate for years. The WWB   section also has work by prominent Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish, whose   Nothing More to Lose,   trans. Try Gaza Writes Back and Gaza unsilenced anthologies. Vivian Eden   got a recommendation, as was the bitingly funny Sayed Kashua. — Lina (@livefromgaza) December 27, 2017

Robin Moger — in his typical, long-winded style — recommends the brilliant Alaa Hlehel, who along with fellow Palestinian writers Shibli and Darwish was one of the “Beirut39,” a group of 39 promising Arab authors under 40. Very well-written! Sinan Antoon. Ralph Mandel is surely worth a read. Several of the prolific Shehaden’s   other books were discussed in the third episode of Bulaq, along with other works of Palestinian literature. On the day after Christmas, writer and scholar Clint Smith asked:

Who are some good Palestinian novelists/poets/essayists to read? Watched it this month & still thinking about it. — Omar Sakr (@OmarjSakr) December 27, 2017

There were recommendations to read Edward Said’s theory, as well as his award-winning memoir   Out of Place. Advertisements

Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditGoogleTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading…‹ Friday Finds: Mada Reviews Their Literature Coverage in 2017Categories: Palestine You can also read Azzam’s “Bread of Sacrifice“ online, published in the anthology Modern Palestinian Literature,   ed. Suad Amiri – Nothing to lose but your life. — Palendia (@Palendia) December 27, 2017

Palestinian poet Lina Alsharif   pointed to lesser-known authors, particularly those from Gaza. Peter Theroux, read by   Marcela Sulak. Dalia Taha's Fireworks (Al'ab Nariya). Hlehel’s book project with Comma Press, translated by Alice Guthrie, is on hold. Catherine Cobham:   Download an excerpt from the publisher. There were shoutouts for a number of Palestinian-American writers, including author-translator Fady Joudah, fiction stylists Randa Jarrar and Hala Alyan, author-activist Susan Abulhawa, and poet and spoken-word artist   Suheir Hammad:

Suheir Hammad
— munmun (@naayanomad) December 26, 2017

It took a while in the thread, but the great stylist and innovator Jabra Ibrahim Jabra (1919-1994) was mentioned, alongside the award-winning novelist Sahar Khalifeh, whose   Of Noble Origins,   trans. As you would hope, at least a dozen commenters mentioned Ghassan Kanafani, particularly his seminal   Return to Haifa   and   Men in the Sun. Several also mentioned Suad Amiry’s sharp, witty books, including   Nothing to Lose But Your Life. trans. In the Presence of Absence,   trans. — NEHP (@noraehp) December 26, 2017

You can also read ArabLit editor M. — Zeina Hashem Beck (@zeinabeck) December 27, 2017

There was also one recommended theatre text: Dalia Taha’s “Fireworks,” translated by Clem Naylor and published by Bloomsbury. The writers already mentioned are Palestine’s most famous writers. Samira al-Azzam’s acclaimed short stories have, unfortunately, not been published in an English collection. I see lots of awesome writers recommended already. You can read some of Kashua’s columns on   Haaretz. Azzam’s most well-known collection is   The Clock and the Man, in   which “Man and His Alarm Clock“ was published, which has been translated by Nora Parr, Michael Beard, and Wen-Chin Ouyang. Glad many people said Ghassan Kanafani. But for now, a few annotated suggestions from the thread. Lynx Qualey’s review of   Gaza Weddings,   and a discussion of Nasrallah’s “Palestinian Comedy” project in   The National. Aida Bamia, is a wonderful look at women’s lives pre-1948. It includes work by Palestinian-Icelandic author Mazen Maarouf, whose award-winning debut collection of short stories, Jokes for the Gunmen,   is forthcoming in Jonathan Wright’s translation this year. mahmoud darwish, edward said, emile habibi, raja shahadeh, ghassan kanafani (and not by palestinians but gate of the sun by elias khoury and palestine by joe sacco)
— Bitchcoin (@SubMedina) December 27, 2017

Mourid Barghouti’s two memoirs — the Naguib Mahfouz Medal-winning   I Saw Ramallah,   as well as his later   I Was Born Here, I Was Born There —   were both recommended:

Mourid Barghouti's I Saw Ramallah & I Was Born There, I Was Born Here. Other writings from Gaza include Atef Abu Saif’s   The Drone Eats With Me   and the collection of stories he edited, The Book of Gaza,   which does get a mention in the thread. Shibli’s   We Are All Equally Far from Love,   translated by Paul Starkey, is also in English translation, and Shibli also has a new novel forthcoming in Arabic. Such a great play about kids in Gaza. Joe Sacco(non Palestinian but excellent book about) – Footnotes in Gaza. His   Native: Dispatches from Israeli-Palestinian Life (2016), trans. But in the meantime, you can read an excerpt from his Au Revoir Akka    trans.