Thursday, 9 September 2010
Beirut 39, a reader's thoughts.
The exciting part for me was that I finally get to read content “from” my region and not just “about” it. Like many Lebanese who were educated abroad or in foreign language schools, I’ve mainly been consuming French and English literature my entire life, so I miss having content from my own culture.
Although I haven’t read the full collection yet, thought I’d share my initial thoughts:
- I loved the intro by Hanan Al Shaykh, one of my favorite writers. As she says these stories “have flung open the doors on Arab culture, inviting the reader to transcend cultural boundaries and land in a region known as the ‘Arab World"
- The short stories are just that, short and sweet, well written, well translated and insightful.
As I said I haven’t read all of them yet, but a few familiar themes have come up already: violence/war and terrorism, sexual repression, female repression.
- Yet, what I’m missing is the light hearted aspect of our life: the joking, socializing, togetherness that make up our society and which I think we fail to communicate in our literature. It seems every time I read anything from or about the Arab world, it centers on how dysfunctional and war ravaged we are, or how religion is a source of repression. I want to read something FUN!
Click here to read a review of Beirut 39 by the Guardian.
Click here if you want to know more about Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation.
Posted by Lebanese Writer at 03:48