Hosted ByUrsula Lindsey & M Lynx Qualey

BULAQ is a podcast about contemporary writing from and about the Middle East and North Africa. We talk about books written in Aleppo, Cairo, Marrakech and beyond. We look at the Arab region through the lens of literature, and we look at literature -- what it does, why it matters, how it relates to society and history and politics -- from the point of view of this part of the world. BULAQ is hosted by Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey and co-produced by Sowt.

Ten out of Ten

We only took a one month break but there are so many new (and a few old) books to talk about! We put together a list of ten titles of interest to start out the Fall with.

1) Etel Adnan’s Shifting the Silence (out in September) is the latest by the 95-year-old Lebanese artist and poet.

2) The Fourth Shore, Alessandro Spina, tr. André Naffis-Sahely, is the latest volume of the author’s monumental series, The Confines of The Shadow, to be translated. You can read about Spina — who came from a Syrian family, grew up in Libya, and wrote in Italian — here.

3) A bilingual collection of the renowned Iraq female poet Nazik al-Mala’ika, Revolt Against the Sun, tr. Emily Drumsta (out in October)

4) The Pillar of Salt is a classic post-colonial novel by the Tunisian writer Albert Memmi, who passed aways this year. Adam Shatz wrote a lovely profile of him in the London Review of Books.

5) Two Half Faces by Moroccan Dutch author Mustafa Stitou, tr. David Colmer (October 2020). You can read some of Stitou’s poems here.

6) A Country For Dying, by the Moroccan novelist Abdallah Taia, tr. Emma Ramadan, tells the stories of several immigrants and refugees in Paris, seeking new lives and escape from violence and repression.

7) Straight from the Horse’s Mouth Meryem Alaoui tr. Emma Ramadan (September) is narrated by a prostitute in Casablanca.

8) Between Beirut and the Moon, A. Naji Bakhti, is a collection of humorous essays about the author’s family and growing up in post-civil-war Beirut.

9) Haytham al-Wardani’s Book of Sleep tr. Robin Moger (November) & his newest book in Arabic, Ma La Youmkin Islahu (“That Which Cannot Be Repaired”). Kayfa Ta published Al-Wardani’s How to Disappear.

10) Sonia Nimr’s Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands tr. you very own MLQ.

We also discussed some recent moving writing from Lebanon. And how some ways writers have come together and you can help to support libraries and bookshops there.

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