Claim Ownership

Author:

Subscribed: 0Played: 0
Share

Description

 Episodes
Reverse
"I chose to be a Trojan poet. I'm resolutely in the camp of the losers. The losers who are deprived of the right to leave a trace of their defeat and deprived of the right of proclaiming it. I'm inclined to speak of defeat, but there is no question of surrender." So said Mahmoud Darwish, as we learned from a new collection of poetry with the late, great Palestinian poet. We also talk about protests in Lebanon and freedom of the press in Egypt.
A tribute to Jordanian poet, activist, novelist, travel writer, and editor Amjad Nasser (1955-2019), who died at the end of October. In the second, we talked about the political space occupied by Moroccan-French writers Tahar Ben Jelloun and Leïla Slimani, and how radical their calls for personal freedom really are.
We discuss two novels set in Iraq -- one featuring a despondent policeman, and one featuring a determined grandma and her donkey. Also, how John Updike once dismissed the great Saudi writer Abdelrahman Mounif as "insufficiently Westernized" to write a novel.
We talk about Palestinian literary festivals (one old and one new); an author who lost a prize for supporting BDS; and a novel that asks: What would happen if all the Palestinians disappeared?
36: Out of Egypt

36: Out of Egypt

2019-10-0950:46

Ursula Lindsey and MLQ are back for another season of Bulaq. In this episode they discuss Egypt, exiles, protests and how hard it is to translate humor.
35: Trash Talk

35: Trash Talk

2019-07-2001:04:471

On less-than-fun translation work, the Shubbak literary festival, and plans for the future
34: Invisibility

34: Invisibility

2019-06-2301:16:00

We have novelist Ruqya Izzidien as our guest on this episode, to discuss her debut novel The Watermelon Boys, her blog Muslim Impossible and the need for more narratives in English that accurately reflect Arab and Muslim voices and history. We also talk about George Orwell’s 1939 essay “Marrakech.”
We spend most of today’s episode talking about a forthcoming collection of essays by female journalists from the region. Guilt, anger, recklessness, determination. There are many different and movingly honest takes on reporting while Arab and female.
32: Work-lit Balance

32: Work-lit Balance

2019-05-1901:04:44

This week we talk about how MLQ’s latest passion project, the Arab Lit Quarterly, and the ups and downs of making a living (sort of) writing about books.
MLQ is back from Abu Dhabi, and we talk about the recently awarded International Prize for Arabic Fiction — and an unfortunate controversy this year, involving leaks, no-shows, and calls for prosecution — and the book fair. We also share excerpts from the winning book and from several of the short-listed ones.
We talk about the career of the best-selling Egyptian novelist Alaa al-Aswany – who like many other artists is on the outs with the country’s military regime now. Also, about Shakespeare productions and censorship in Gulf countries; and book reviews in the age of online algorithms and the culture of positivity.
In this episode we rave about an Omani novel – a multi-generational saga that is “anti-romantic and anti-nationalistic.” We also discuss a dark family road trip through Syria, and works from Lebanon and Morocco. And we delve into the larger question of how much a writer’s identity and experience gives him or her the right, or the ability, to tell certain stories.
28: Sentenced To Hope

28: Sentenced To Hope

2019-03-0159:35

We spend most of this episode discussing the work and life of the Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous, and how strongly it relates to repression, resistance and art in the Arab region today.
27: Where Do I Start?

27: Where Do I Start?

2019-02-1156:14

What should you recommend to someone who is interested in exploring Arabic literature? We tackle this big question this week; we also talk about the authors short-listed on the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and about North African literature in English translation.
26: Bad Parents

26: Bad Parents

2019-01-2656:371

We’re back! And ready to talk about two poets who have moved into prose: the Egyptian Iman Mersal and the Palestinian Mazen Maarouf, who have written books that explore the bonds between children and parents, among other things. We also talk about the Cairo book fair’s recent make-over, and about the vibrant but struggling cultural scene in Casablanca.
25: Lists!

25: Lists!

2018-12-1901:01:21

Ursula and MLQ look back at notable books from 2018 and at reads they are looking forward to catching up on over the holiday break.
24: Writing To Remember

24: Writing To Remember

2018-12-0101:04:37

This episode is almost entirely dedicated to the work of the Moroccan film-maker, novelist, artist, and poet Ahmed Bouanani – much of which has yet to be released, and much of which was censored or destroyed in his own life.
We overcame communication blocks and interrupting children to speak to the poet Zeina Hashem Beck about how she’s given herself permission to write poems that move between English and Arabic. We also discuss James Montgomery’s heart-breaking essay on grief, memory, trauma and translating a 7th century Arabic poet famous for her elegies.
In this episode we talk about recent developments in Cairo, kids’ literature in Arabic, Naguib Mahfouz, and the launch of Marcia’s new project, the literary magazine ArabLit Quarterly .
21: Interview with Ganzeer

21: Interview with Ganzeer

2018-10-2001:08:17

This week we talk to an old Cairo friend, acclaimed Egyptian artist Ganzeer, about art, propaganda, publishing and how much damn work it is to put out a graphic novel.
Comments (1)

Tim Gregory

I have Zeina's books and I can't wait for the next one, and I just ordered Loss Sings from UC Press. I am really looking forward to it!

Nov 23rd
Reply
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store