Posts Tagged ‘Touch’

Adania Shibli at the PEN World Voices Festival

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

We’re excited to share that Adania Shibli will join Randa Jarrar and Najwan Darwish for “All That’s Left to You: Palestinian Writers in Conversation,” as part of the PEN World Voices Festival:

Saturday, May 04, 2013, 3:00pm

For the first time in the Festival’s history, PEN brings together a panel of leading Palestinian writers to take their place in the global literary community. From Palestine and from the diaspora, they will share their work, experiences, and visions, revealing how a literature is both imagined and created under occupation, siege, and exile.

Moderated by Judith Butler

Co-sponsored by ArteEast, The Lannan Foundation, The New School, and the Open Society Foundation.

Adania Shibli in NYC next week

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Adania Shibli, author of Touch and the newly released We Are All Equally Far from Love, will be at two events in New York next week, hosted by ArteEast.

On April 24, at the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, at 7 pm, Shibli will participate in the “Gazan Writers’ Salon—Fractured Web: Gazan Writing Online”:

ArteEast presents Fractured Web: Gazan Writing Online, a public program at Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies, in which Palestinian writers will discuss how their work has been shaped and affected by the internet. In this discussion Somaya al Sousi and Fatena al Ghorra contextualize their work within the broader landscape of Palestinian literature online, while Adania Shibli (co-editor, Narrating Gaza) explores the way in which such platforms foster literary community and discourse.

The discussion will be moderated by Khalid Hadeed (Cornell University) and featuring academic discussant Helga Tawil Souri (NYU).

On April 25, at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Shibli will be part of a salon discussing “From Memoir to Reportage and Back Again”

ArteEast will present From Memoir to Reportage and Back Again: Gazan Writers Salon, to present contemporary writing from Gaza to New York’s literary audiences. Through readings of both poetry and prose, the writers will offer a rare glimpse into the diverse emerging and established voices that make up the dynamic literary scene in this city.

In his ode to Gaza, Mahmoud Darwish links Gazan literary production with its unique history within Palestine as a land that has been repeatedly occupied by external forces and subjected to over two decades of sanctions, blockade and strikes: “We are unfair to her when we search for her poems. Let us not disfigure the beauty of Gaza. The most beautiful thing in her is that she is free of poetry at a time when the rest of us tried to gain victory with poems…”

Like Darwish’s poem “Silence for Gaza,” we see Palestinian writers of subsequent generations grapple with the personal and communal experiences of Gaza’s history of occupation, blockade and war.

Participants include Fatena al Ghorra, author of five books of poetry including The Sea is Still Behind Us (Gaza, 2002) and A Very Disturbing Woman (Egypt, 2003), Ellay (multiple editions), Betrayals of god…Multi Scenarios (multiple editions); Adania Shibli, co-editor of the online forum Narrating Gaza, will read from multi-genre writings from Narrating Gaza of other writers that explore the repercussions of the Gaza War; Soumaya Al Sousi has produced four poetry collections, including The First Sip of the Sea’s Chest (1998), Doors (2003), Lonely Alone (2005), and Idea, Void, White in a joint collection with the poet Hala El Sharouf (published by Dar Al-Adab, Beirut, 2005).

These should be two outstanding events—if you’re in in NYC, please do come by.

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!

New review of Touch in the Quarterly Conversation

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

If you haven’t already, head over to Quarterly Conversation to enjoy the new issue (and I say that not only because there are several pieces on books we’ve edited). As always, it’s a wide-ranging, thoughtful, and thought-provoking offering. But this post is to note that it includes an excellent new review of Touch:

Adania Shibli’s American debut is a visually striking composition of interconnected prose poem-like vignettes that follow a young girl living on the West Bank of Palestine. The novella’s short numbered sections, which comprise the larger chapters of the book (“colors,” “silence,” “movement,” “language,” and “the wall”), house intimate scenes imprinted with the events that lay just outside the girl’s immediate perspective—from the death of her brother to the violent political context. These surrounding events are so delicately incorporated into the girl’s perceptual realm that scenes often feel as if they were ekphrastically derived from a photograph or painting. Shibli achieves this cohesion through the book’s polished and fluid prose; sensory details are foregrounded over the trajectory of narrative sense-making, and the circumstantial themes of the text (family life, love, death, political strife) unfold the way a narrative might enter into one’s experience of a painting—their impacts permeate throughout the text, but rarely are they explicitly depicted or referenced.

Read the rest here.

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.

An interview with Adania Shibli

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010


The site Babelmed has a new interview with Adania Shibli, author of Touch and 2011′s We Are All Equally Far From Love, on the “new generation” of Palestinian writers, activism & literature, exile & literature, and Darwish. (I can’t help but saying that I’d rather not have descriptions like “young, bright-eyed lady”—but check the interview out regardless!)

More interested in the facts?

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

In the conversation about Adania Shibli’s Touch just up at Belletrista, one of the participants said, “I had a conversation yesterday with a friend who had lived for several years in Asia. She observed that Americans were more interested in the facts of an event than many other cultures, and less comfortable with fluidity or metaphor.”

In the wake of national elections, when one is forced to contemplate questions about the national character, inclinations, and habits of thought, I found this observation intriguing. Is that it? Are we too fact-bound? And is that the same tendency a soccer coach from Malawi I talked to this week lamented about children’s sports in this country: Too much concern about the score.

I do wonder what grooves are being dug in us, and what part we have in the digging.


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