Focus on Arabic Women Writers

Women and Arabic Literature: News from Cairo and Casablanca

“Serious” literature is, in most languages, a male-dominated business. Literary works translated into English have hovered around a 70-30 split:

Exotic and kitchsy?

Exotic and kitchsy?

This often reflects a bias in the source language, and indeed the Arabic literature of prizes and festivals has generally been the province of men. There are some exceptions, such as the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, steered by the eminent Samia Mehrez. The world of comix has also been a more egalitarian one: While France’s Angouleme comix prize had its “30 men, 0 women” year, the inaugural CairoComix prizes went to a majority of women winners.

This year’s Cairo Literature Festival — which ran Feb. 11 – 16 — put its focus on women writers, with 30 of the 50 writers identifying as women. It featured some of the language’s leading women writers, including the poet Iman Mersal, who launched her new book, How to Mend: On Motherhood and its Ghosts.



Read further @ Arabic Literature


~ by eneryvibes on 1,March 8, 2017.

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