Speaking in Tongues, Night Terrors in Arabic

"Night Terror," the first story in the short story collection Double Dutch by Laura Trunkey begins with the following passage: "He was speaking Arabic in his sleep. Her son -- who could barely manage three words in a row in English -- had an incredible fluency in a language she recognised only from television news clips." … Continue reading Speaking in Tongues, Night Terrors in Arabic

Excavating the Past

In Nawal Al Saadawi's Love in the Kingdom of Oil, the unnamed narrator is an archeologist, "searching for gods in the bowels of the earth" (23). In the beginning of the sequence of dream-like scenes that make up the narrative, the woman leaves her home and her husband and "disappears without a trace." The rest … Continue reading Excavating the Past

Frankenstein in Baghdad

Doing some research on the first Gulf war, I came across a brief article from 1990  in the Los Angeles Times with the title "Iraq Turns Into 'Frankenstein Monster,' Iranians Say": "Likening Iraq to Frankenstein's monster turning on its creators, Iran's media Monday stepped up its attack on Baghdad for invading Kuwait." And then there … Continue reading Frankenstein in Baghdad

A Thousand and One Nights Revisted, Again

There is an interview on the Thousand and One Nights with Hanan Al-Shaykh and Marina Warner at Guernica which I missed, somehow, although I followed the launch and tour for Shaykh's translation of the Thousand and One Nights closely. Yes, Scheherazade and Thousand and One Nights provokes eye rolling for most people. Again, once more, forever? … Continue reading A Thousand and One Nights Revisted, Again