The PEN Ten Interview: Ahmed Naji on Language, Identity, and Writing in Exile

This interview was first published at: https://pen.org/ahmed-naji-pen-ten-interview/ By: Lily Philpott May 2, 2019 The PEN Ten is PEN America’s weekly interview series. This week Lily Philpott, Public Programs Manager at PEN America, speaks with Ahmed Naji, 2016 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award recipient and the author of three books: Rogers (2007), Seven Lessons Learned from Ahmed … Continue reading The PEN Ten Interview: Ahmed Naji on Language, Identity, and Writing in Exile

Conversation: The author of “Using Life” on the new beginnings in exile

This conversation was first published: https://electricliterature.com/imprisoned-in-egypt-for-his-writing-ahmed-naji-is-finally-free/ No one foresaw that Ahmed Naji would be imprisoned for his novel. After all, no author had ever been subjected to arrest for morality reasons in modern Egypt, and as Naji himself says in this interview: “My writings are not political.” The novel in question, Using Life (illustrated by Ayman Al … Continue reading Conversation: The author of “Using Life” on the new beginnings in exile

‘Beige Writing…’ Ahmed Naji in Conversation

Published first time at: https://partisanhotel.co.uk/Ahmed-Naji Ahmed Naji is an Egyptian novelist and writer. His novel Using Life was published in Arabic in 2014 to widespread critical acclaim. Set in a hellish, fantastic version of Cairo, Using Life explores the city on the brink of destruction, while its young people move from party to party, having … Continue reading ‘Beige Writing…’ Ahmed Naji in Conversation

Interview with Ben & arablit: ‘I Wanted to Write Something More Fantastical’

Ahmed Naji — winner of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award — remains on trial for his novel Using Life, for its alleged violation of “public morals.” The novel recently appeared in English, and Naji and translator Ben Koerber talk about the book, the legal case, and what Naji’s working on next: Ben Koerber: To start off, could you … Continue reading Interview with Ben & arablit: ‘I Wanted to Write Something More Fantastical’

Inside the Strange Saga of a Cairo Novelist Imprisoned for Obscenity

written by Jonathan Guyer and published in RS : http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/cairo-novelist-imprisoned-for-obscenity-in-egypt-tells-story-w468084 On a scorching Saturday morning in July, Ahmed Naji stood in the crowded cage of a Cairo courtroom. The 31-year-old author had been convicted six months earlier of “violating public morality” for publishing a piece of literature. In his novel, Using Life, an irreverent portrayal of youth culture … Continue reading Inside the Strange Saga of a Cairo Novelist Imprisoned for Obscenity

Ahmed Naji: ‘Prison made me believe in literature more’

An interview with Walt Curnow, published in The Gurdian : https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/16/ahmed-naji-prison-made-me-believe-in-literature-more After seeing a photo of him, Zadie Smith imagined Ahmed Naji as someone wild and antic. (“Rather handsome, slightly louche-looking, with a Burt Reynolds moustache, wearing a Nehru shirt in a dandyish print and the half smile of someone both amusing and easily amused” … Continue reading Ahmed Naji: ‘Prison made me believe in literature more’