Posts Tagged ‘Paula Haydar’

Revenge of the Maximalists

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Blog-calm restored. Turns out that our lovely Minimalism theme was breached. All is well now. Stay tuned in the next couple days for an essay about Adania Shibli’s Touch from translator Paula Haydar.

Best Translated Book Award: fiction longlist

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Over at the excellent blog Three Percent, the first announcement about this year’s Best Translated Book award includes our own Touch, by Adania Shibli and translated by Paula Haydar. Congratulations to them both, and to those responsible for the rest of the amazing round-up of books.

Touch in Rain Taxi

Monday, July 19th, 2010

This week brings M. Lynx Qualey’s warm review of Adania Shibli’s Touch at Rain Taxi’s summer online edition:

Stories about the past often mislead: in order to create a satisfying whole, most writers carefully arrange history and memory, inventing links and causal connections. Sometimes, this results in good storytelling. But sometimes the task of an author—particularly one who writes about a hyper-symbolized terrain—is to un-narrativize, to pull things back apart.

Adania Shibli is up to this task. Touch brings us the fragmented worldview of a narrator at the cusp of understanding her world. The 72-page novella could be described as five interconnected prose poems, a historical fiction about the Palestinian territories set in 1982, or a coming-of-age tale in which maturation is marked not by a loss of innocence, but by an ever-growing loneliness and alienation.

Keep reading here

Touch: “An extended prose poem,” “a brilliant piece of writing”

Monday, July 5th, 2010

In The National, a lengthy, highly laudatory review of Touch and discussion of Adania Shibli:

… Touch purrs along like an extended prose poem – all words and sounds and images – as Shibli picks up the glinting fragments of the girl’s experience, then turns them over in her hand to see how they refract the light of a world so radically constricted and reduced. …

[T]he translation of Touch feels fresh, signalling the arrival of a young stylist who writes like no one else.

Read in full here

“An exquisite, powerful novella”: two new reviews of Touch

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

This week brings a starred Publishers Weekly review of Adania Shibli’s Touch:

Adania Shibli, trans. from the Arabic by Paula Haydar, Interlink/Clockroot, $13 paper (72p) ISBN 9781566568074
Celebrated young Palestinian writer Shibli—a playwright, author and essayist now located in the UK—makes her American debut with an exquisite, powerful novella that transports readers to her West Bank homeland. In spare prose, Shibli follows an unnamed little girl, the youngest in a large Palestinian family, as she examines her world and tries to understand her place in it. Though focused on the finest details—flakes of rust against skin, the softness of grass—Shibli takes readers to the center of a family and a culture, using the same careful, dispassionate observation to report everyday events like the father’s shaving as she does to depict the death of a sibling in area violence. Like a great volume of poetry, Shibli’s first novel (her second is forthcoming from Clockroot) has rhythm and unexpected momentum, and cries for re-reading.

… And a wonderful review at the Electronic Intifada (in full here):

Whatever it is—a dream, memory fragments, poems folded into sun and grass—Touch is both remarkable and difficult, beautifully lucid and yet also mysterious. The book is divided into sections entitled “Colors,” “Silence,” “Movement,” “Language” and “The Wall” …. Within this framework the little girl comes of age, her ordinary experiences of first love, school mishaps and sibling rivalries rendered extraordinary by the sensuous prose, and intensified by the heartbreaking backdrop against which they occur, a death whose impact tears apart the fabric of her family’s life. …

This is not a book to be shelved once finished. It calls to you softly, insistently, until you pick it up again and allow yourself to be tugged back in… [P]erhaps this is what Touch can be called, a question, rather than a novel — that place from where all searches begin.

“To me all literature is Arabic literature because I read it in Arabic”

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Adania Shibli, whose wonderful Touch Clockroot released in March, seems often to have such pithy, precise thoughts on translation (see here)—its limits, its futility, its urgency.  We regret not being able to head to London ourselves to see Adania at the Free the Word/International PEN festival, but you can find a write-up of one of her events here—a co-event with Ala Hlehel, who as we noted the other week, was the other honoree of the Beirut 39 unable to attend the festival in Beirut.

… what could be more uplifting than Adania’s answer to the final question about what Arabic literature influenced her. ‘To me, all literature is Arabic literature, because I read it in Arabic and therefore I feel it is Arabic. Tolstoy and Shakespeare – they are Palestinians!’

Clockroot at BEA

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

If you’re at BEA this weekend, please come by and see Clockroot and Interlink, at booth #4952.

Our own Pam Thompson will also be moderating a conversation with Rachid al-Daif—the acclaimed Lebanese writer whose Learning English Interlink published in 2007, in translation by Adnan and Paula Haydar—on Saturday the 30th, from 4:30 to 5:30, on the Downtown Stage of the Javits Center.