Posts Tagged ‘Paul Starkey’

“Dark, beautiful exploration of the human psyche”—on Adania Shibli

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Writing in the Electronic Intifada, Sarah Irving offers a wonderful new review of We Are All Equally Far from Love:

“If her first novel, Touch, wasn’t evidence enough, Adania Shibli’s second book We Are All Equally Far From Love confirms her as a rare, challenging talent. It is neither an easy nor always a pleasant read, but it is an extraordinary piece of writing which weaves together melancholia, beauty, violence and brutish physicality in an extended meditation on love and loneliness.”

Read the rest here!

Adania Shibli, “a formally brilliant literary artist”

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

That’s Words Without Borders on Adania Shibli’s We Are All Equally Far from Love, in “faultless translation” (their words!) by Paul Starkey. A fantastic review by Emma Garman—example:

Seamlessly balancing juxtapositions is Shibli’s great gift. We Are All Equally Far From Love is hypnotically visceral in its accrual of mundane details—the color of the sky, the fluttering of flags in the breeze, the endless routines of cooking, eating, breathing, sleeping, sweating—and grippingly cerebral in its meditations on despair, the emotional dimensions of which are shifted, echoed and mirrored through each section. In the hands of a lesser writer, the discontinuous structure, where we spend only a short time immersed in an individual’s internal world before another voice takes over, might lead to a disjointed, unengaging reading experience. But the discipline of Shibli’s aesthetic vision and her tight thematic focus produces, against the odds, a work of stunning coherence that feels cinematic, as though colored by Jim Jarmusch or Wong Kar-wai.

Do read the rest here.

“Fevered bodies, purloined letters”

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

A thoughtful review of Adania Shibli’s We Are All Equally Far from Love, translated by Paul Starkey, appears in today’s Daily Star:

Eight years ago, when the Palestinian novelist Adania Shibli was still living in Ramallah and hadn’t yet moved to London, she told the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif that life under occupation, even with an Israeli passport, pushes a writer to retreat into “a kind of autism.

Reality now is too frightening, impossible to grasp,” she said. “You could say that fiction becomes a kind of perversion.” Everything about the occupation “affects my writing,” she explained. “I can’t work for very long. It’s as though concentration becomes claustrophobic. The situation controls you. It affects you like a fever.”

Perhaps it makes sense, then, that so many of the characters in Shibli’s fiction – particularly in her second novel, “We Are All Equally Far From Love,” translated by Paul Starkey and published this month by Clockroot Books – are so often fevered and perverse, driven not to deviancy but to bottomless and self-destructive hatred.

Read in full here.

We Are All Equally Far from Love “demands to be read”

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The New York Journal of Books has just reviewed Adania Shibli’s We Are All Equally Far from Love (translated from the Arabic by Paul Starkey). According to reviewer Viv Young, this is “not a book to be picked up and put down” and “quite riveting”; “If there is a consistency running through every one of these stories, it is the intensity Ms. Shibli brings to each human emotion she examines.” Read in full here.

Adania Shibli, “On East–West Dialogue,” at the Kenyon Review

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Good news comes in pairs? Adania Shibli’s new novel We Are All Equally Far from Love is now out in the world, and today the Kenyon Review Online has published one of my favorite essays by Adania—or rather, one of my favorite essays altogether—”On East–West Dialogue,” translated by Suneela Mubayi. A taste:

I arrive at Lydd airport. At passport control, I present my passport through a small opening in the glass panel to the officer sitting behind it. We wait a little until first three security personnel arrive, then four others—two policemen and a policewoman, and an interrogator from the Israeli intelligence services accompanied by a young woman who remains with us during questioning, most likely for the same reason that male doctors summon a female nurse to remain in the room when a woman’s reproductive organs are examined. The intelligence services want to examine my private world, in an interview that will not take long, the interrogator assures me, if I “cooperate” with them. I have just arrived from Berlin. I stayed there approximately two months, participating in a project called the “West–Eastern Divan” that aims to foster dialogue between the East and the West. Why should the subject of East and West concern me? I let my thoughts flow like water over sand, spontaneously sneaking between the grains, so they may find an answer to the question.

…. In the end, I resort to science instead of nature. I recall what my nephew told me several years ago. In one of the medicine classes he was attending at university, the lecturer asked the students what they thought was the primary cause of lung cancer. Smoking, replied one of the students. The lecturer commented that that was the correct answer, then asked, what was the second most common cause of lung cancer? No one answered. “Smoking,” he responded. What was the third? Smoking. The fourth? Smoking. The fifth? Smoking. The sixth? Smoking. The seventh? Smoking. The eighth? Smoking. The ninth? Smoking. The top nine causes of lung cancer are smoking. It may be said that at least the top four causes of my participation in any activity whose subject is East–West dialogue are money. And if the amount were doubled, it could then be said that the top nine causes of my participation in activities of this kind are money.

But that’s just the beginning. Read the rest here!

Adania Shibli at “The Collagist”

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The newest issue of the great online magazine The Collagist features an excerpt from Adania Shibli’s soon-to-be-released We Are All Equally Far from Love:

Yesterday, while it was still fine and hadn’t yet started to rain, I went with the neighbors’ children to a local park to play. The four of us ran around, hiding here and there, and there were lots of butterflies that looked as if they were playing with us. Afterwards we sat on a large rock, and it was then that I discovered I was seeing everything in order to write about it to him. More than that, I discovered that I had forgotten how to live without his letters. It made me afraid of finding myself one day without them.

A few hours later, when I arrived home, I found a short letter from him.

Read the rest here.