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[21 Apr 2016 | No Comment | 107 views]
Sinan Antoon writes in The Guardian – About the Southwest airlines incident, and speaking Arabic

Sinan Antoon wrote this piece for The Guardian, April 19th, 2016
There was a time when one could speak Arabic on a flight in the United States, or even read a book written in that language, without hesitation or the fear of suffering humiliating consequences. That time is long gone. Many colleagues and friends confess that they try to avoid carrying Arabic or Persian books on flights in order not to invite suspicious looks.

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[6 Apr 2016 | No Comment | 126 views]
Writing about a country disintegrating – Sinan Antoon

By Farid Farid, for The Guardian, March 2015
“How do you write about a country that is disintegrating?” says Sinan Antoon, on the line from his office at New York University. His words have taken on a more affective valency in recent days, as the notorious militants from Islamic State (Isis) released footage showing the graphic destruction of Assyrian and Akkadian artefacts in Mosul’s central museum.

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[30 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 317 views]
The Point Magazine offers a beautiful analysis of Iraqi literature, featuring Sinan Antoon

Betty Rosen for The Point Magazine, March 2016.
Below a few excerpts. VisitThe Point Magazine‘s website for the full article.
(…)
Of the abundant works of fiction produced by Iraqi writers in the past ten years, Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer and Hassan Blasim’s The Corpse Exhibition are two of the comparatively few to have appeared in English translation. Antoon published his novel The Corpse Washer in Arabic in 2010 and his own English translation in 2013. The Corpse Exhibition, published in English in 2014 in a translation by Jonathan Wright, contains short …

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[21 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 97 views]
Le Nouvel Observateur: Yazbek’s The Crossing “makes her comparable to Orwell”

Gregoire Lemenager, for Le Nouvel Observateur, March 20th 2016
(…) She who until now scanned the gray areas of the good Damascene society in daring novels ( “Cinnamon” tells the homosexual relationship of a bourgeois with her housekeeper), then published “In the crossfire” (Buchet-Chastel, 2012) and collects literary awards that applaud her courage.

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[21 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 87 views]
Liberation draws Yazbek’s portrait and reviews The Crossing, a “Colossal work”

By Jean-Louis Le Touzet, for Liberation, March 20, 2016
Photo credit: Mathieu Zazzo, Liberation
 
Men make war. But a woman, blonde, cat-eyed, 46-year old Syrian of high education was needed to paint Syria’s death. No other brush was ever dipped in as many tears to tell the intoxication of brutality in a country under the yoke of a double punishment: that of a totally deranged regime and that of the unbearable cruelty of fanatical Islamists . To be clear, about Syria, we read everything and read nothing. Rarely such a plunging view of demolition was ever published. This is what this …

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[16 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 120 views]
“A remarkable narrative to get rid of indifference” – Le Figaro on Yazbek’s The Crossing

By Charles Jaigu, for Le Figaro, March 13, 2016
(…) One must read this remarkable narrative to get rid of the indifference to the crackle of images, and of testimonies heard on the fly. It is not enough to know that terrible events are taking place in the world. A story longer than 140 signs needs to give them form and color.
(…)
Samar Yazbek’s story  is valuable as a literary testimony.  It is also valuable as a geopolitical analysis. It goes from the fog of war, the confusion of fighting, and gradually goes back to the general idea: quite simply, Bachar El Assad is the cause
behind all the evil… To those who… consider that the priority is primarily the fight …