Rotten Evidence: Ahmed Naji’s Incarcerated Fiction

On July 25, 2019, ARC in collaboration with apexart hosted Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji, who was the 2016 winner of the PEN/Barbey Freedom To Write Award, for a lecture entitled “Rotten Evidence: Reading and Writing in Prison.” Naji was formerly sentenced to two years in prison when a literary magazine published a chapter of his novel. … Continue reading Rotten Evidence: Ahmed Naji’s Incarcerated Fiction

Using Life: Instructions for Play – By Ben Koerber

This article was published first at: https://thenewinquiry.com/using-life-instructions-for-play/ – Today marks a “Day of Blogging” for Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji, who is serving two years in prison: guilty of having written the playful, language-rich, genre-crossing novel Using Life, he will be given the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, today, in absentia, in New York City. When Naji was charged … Continue reading Using Life: Instructions for Play – By Ben Koerber

M.A.Orthofer: The complete review’s Review

Puplished fist at The complete review: http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/egypt/najia.htm  Using Life is a novel of Cairo, and of a younger generation of Egyptians struggling in a culture and society that is both extremely deeply-rooted (in history, tradition, etc.) and unmoored. The first chapter is nothing short of apocalyptic in its vision, first burying Cairo under a mountain … Continue reading M.A.Orthofer: The complete review’s Review

“Strategies of Engagement in Using Life: A Multimodal Novel” – By Dr.Marie Thérèse Abdelmessih

This stydy was published first at: https://preo.u-bourgogne.fr/interfaces/index.php?id=314 Multimodality is not new to Egyptian culture whose ancient sign system was the hieroglyph (Lambeens & Pint 240); correspondingly, ancient Egyptian two dimensional mural art was at times sequential, illustrated by hieroglyphic inscriptions. Moreover, a bas-relief dating to the Old Kingdom circa 2,000 BCE at Cairo Museum may … Continue reading “Strategies of Engagement in Using Life: A Multimodal Novel” – By Dr.Marie Thérèse Abdelmessih

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’

Yasmine Seale: After the Revolution

 Was published first in: https://harpers.org/archive/2018/01/after-the-revolution-2/ Iwas in a classroom in Turkey recently, explaining the word utopia. From u and topos: “no-place,” possibly a pun on eu-topos, “good place.” See also: dystopia. That, too, is a place that doesn’t exist, but— “Oh,” someone interrupted, “it exists.” My students were Syrian refugees, and they were taking no lessons on where the border lay between the real and … Continue reading Yasmine Seale: After the Revolution