Coming in December: Hussein Barghouthi’s Autobiographical ‘The Blue Light,’ Two Iraqi Novels, & More

The   village has seemed to stand apart from time, protected by the mountains and too small to attract much political notice. Merging memoir with fiction, and the hallowed with the profane, The Blue Light is a meditation on and liberation from madness—a brilliant, inimitable literary achievement. At first angry, he soon sees the error of his ways and vows never to keep a bird captive again. * The Dispersal, by Inaam Kachachi, tr. Delivering babies and tending to the many health needs of her rural women patients, she struggles to improve care for them. Elias remains missing and her sons, now young recruits to the organization, are like strangers. The central character is Ibrahim the bookseller, a cultured man, and voracious reader of novels who takes on the identity of the protagonists in novels which appeal to him. But their happy existence is suddenly shattered when Elias, a journalist, goes missing. If you know of other works forthcoming this month, please add them in the comments or email us at info@arablit.org. * Out of Time: The Collected Short Stories of Samira Azzam, by Samira Azzam, tr. He attempts suicide, before meeting a mysterious woman who will change his life. Helen and Elias fall deeply in love, marry and start a family in Sinjar. The Dispersal follows the career of Wardiyah Iskander, a physician working in the Iraq countryside in the 1950s. Ranya Abdelrahman (ArabLit Books) This book is coming next week, and the publisher says that this book of short stories by the iconic, cult-classic writer Samira Azzam, who died far too young, is beautifully translated by Ranya Abdelrahman. Her family, like many others, is pressed to leave. The word   tashari   expresses the scattering of Iraqis as a people across the globe and the separation from home and loved ones that pursues them. Written and lived between Arabic and English, this is a unique book whose depth is as clear as its surface. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading… You can pre-order the paperback for a 20% holiday discount. * The Bird Tattoo, by Dunya Mikhail, tr. He becomes a professional thief who robs banks and the very wealthy in order to help the abject poor and impose his own form of justice like Robin Hood. It will tempt you to dismiss it as it compels you to devour it for illumination. Starkey (Interlink) From the publisher: After losing his job and refuge, Ibrahim al-Warraq, a bookseller, decides to live with the homeless people in his city and assuming the identities of the heroes of the novels he has read. Helen’s search for her husband results in her own captivity and enslavement. Wardiyah finally goes, arriving in France. Paul G. Their interwoven destinies reveal the value of the house, as a symbol of one’s homeland, as opposed to the surrounding ruination. The Blue Light, by Hussein Barghouthi, tr. But due to his isolation, loneliness, and maltreatment by a cruel world, he suffers mental illness and descends into full schizophrenia. There her poet niece helps her now elderly aunt to get settled and, reflecting on their family’s dispersal, to tell her story. * The Bookseller’s Notebooks, by Jalal Barjas, tr. A brutal organization is sweeping   over the land, infiltrating even the remotest corners, its members cloaking their violence in religious devotion. Coming in December: Hussein Barghouthi’s Autobiographical ‘The Blue Light,’ Two Iraqi Novels, & More December 3, 2022November 30, 2022 by Leonie Rau Book publication dates shift, and thus we are supplementing the annual list of forthcoming literature in translation with monthly lists, which we hope are more accurate. Fady Joudah (Seagull) From the publisher: Hussein Barghouthi tells his story with Bari, a Turkish American Sufi, during Barghouthi’s years as a graduate student at the University of Washington in the late 1980s. The Blue Light has several beginnings and many returns—from Beirut’s traumatic sea to musings on color and identity, from Buddhist paths to Rajneesh disciples, from military rule to colonial insanity, from drug addiction to sacred rock. Inam Jaber (Interlink) From the publisher: Tashari, the title of the novel in Arabic, is an Iraqi word for a shot from a hunting rifle, which scatters creatures in all directions. But as the years pass, the upheavals the country faces continue to worsen. She eventually escapes her captors and is reunited with some of her family. But her life is forever changed. Set between 1947 and 2019, this novel is based on several notebooks of stories about people facing different hardships, such as losing their homes or not knowing who their families are. Will she find harmony and happiness again? One day she finds a local bird caught in a trap, and frees it, just as the trapper, Elias, returns. Dunya Mikhail (Simon & Schuster) From the publisher: Helen is a young Yazidi woman, living with her family in a   mountain village in Sinjar, northern Iraq.

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