Author Archive

The Overlooked Mistranslations in Blood and Guts in High School

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Kathy Acker’s infamous novel includes a section titled “The Persian Poems,” which pairs words written in Farsi alongside their translations in English. What has largely gone unrecognized is that Acker has deliberately mistranslated specific words, bringing an entirely new meaning to this passage, Acker’s craft, and the reader’s internalization

The Paradox of Journalistic Objectivity in Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World

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The essays in this collection come together to detail not just the bravery and struggles of reporting as Arab women, but also to broaden our assumptions about journalistic neutrality, to resist the dehumanizing portrayal of Arabs, and to challenge the way we judge and perceive the value of a

Colonialism and Nationalism in The House of Hunger

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Alongside his exoneration of colonial violence both externally apparent and pervasively overlooked, Dambudzo Marechera questions what will happen when independence comes, throwing into stark relief the metanarrative of the nation state and the concept of nationalism as a motivating structure for freedom.

William Gardner Smith’s International Solidarity Against Police Violence

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While there is much to improve in how we support each other at home and across the globe, Smith’s 1963 novel, which documents the 1961 police massacre of Algerian protestors in Paris, reminds us of the immense power in solidarity and our duty to rise up for justice and

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s 115-Year-Old Feminist Utopia

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In her satirical critique of the patriarchy in which she imagines a new, feminist society, Hossain’s 1905 short story “Sultana’s Dream” alludes to some of the most pressing contemporary global crises—epidemic disease, human displacement, overdependence on non-renewable energy, militarization of local police forces and the carceral mindset.

Turmoil, Vodou, and Female Strength in Moonbath

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By remaining subtle at times and uninhibited at others, Yanick Lahens pens an essential family saga in the midst of Haiti’s politically turbulent mid-1900s, one that casts an eye to undiscussed brutality while simultaneously upholding a joyous celebration of culture, family, and female strength.

The Disappearance of the Author

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In Alawiya Sobh’s 2002 novel, the writer has disappeared. Through the perplexing enigma of the novel’s authorship, Sobh simultaneously brings to light and challenges the erasure of war and conflict.

Visibility as Dissent in the Panopticity

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As panopticon-like tactics of controlling certain populations become increasingly widespread, Abdel Aziz’s debut novel gives us a peek into the authoritarian future to which such surveillance could lead. Within the tyrannical panopticity, she insists on the power of visibility as double-edged tool of oppression and revolution.

Home as Metonymy for Country in The Locust and the Bird: My Mother’s Story

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Set in decades past, Hanan al-Shaykh’s novel remains relevant to women’s rights today: she uses her narrator’s struggle to draw upon sociopolitical issues, positioning women’s stories as a means of redefining the political and societal in terms of the personal, and insisting on the importance of reaching beyond presiding

Shadows of Love, Secrecy, and Ownership in Celestial Bodies

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Jokha Alharthi’s novel is the first book by an Arab author to win the Man Booker International Prize. In it, Alharthi crafts a stunning rumination on love, responsibility, feminism, and freedom, as well as the unavoidably sour ramifications of the accompanying disappointment and betrayal.