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The Arab Apocalypse by
Publication Date: 2007-02-15
Poetry. Middle Eastern studies. Translated from the French by the author. Reprinted with a new foreward by Jalal Toufic. "This book, a masterwork of the dislocations and radiant outcries of the Arab world, reaffirms Etel Adnan, who authored the great poem, Jebu, as among the foremost poets of the French Language. THE ARAB APOCALYPSE is an immersion into a rapture of chaos clawing towards destiny, and nullified hope refusing its zero. Is is also the journey of soul through the cartography of a global immediacy rarely registered by maps, replete with signposts like hieroglyphs in a storm of shrapnel and broken glass. And above all it is a book that, though capable of being read in its orderly sequence, has so surrendered to 'being there,' it can rivet the sensibility to the Middle Eastern condition at any point in the text--so rapid are its mutations, so becoming its becomingness--like a wisdom book or a book of Changes"--Jack Hirschman. "It has a power and intensity that few poets today can muster--only Allen Ginsberg's Howl comes to mind."--Alice Molloy "The power of Adnan's language and imagery reminds us that she is indeed one of the most significant post-modern poets in contemporary Arab culture."--Kamal Boullatta "THE ARAB APOCALYPSE is, to date, Adnan's most triumphant battle with the exactness of words."--Douglas Powell "The poem invokes a mythic past of Gilgamesh, Tammouz, and Ishtar to presage a present that resists narration, THE ARAB APOCALYPSE contests an uncritical reflection on the immediate historical past."--Barbara Harlow
You Exist Too Much by
Publication Date: 2020-06-09
On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother's response only intensifies a sense of shame: "You exist too much," she tells her daughter. Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East--from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine--Zaina Arafat's debut novel traces her protagonist's progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as "love addiction." In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her. Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings--for love, and a place to call home.
Took House by
Publication Date: 2020-08-01
Poetry. Took House is a disquieting book about intimate relationships and what is seen and hidden. In vulnerable poems of obsession, Camp places motivation deep in the background, following instead a chain reaction between pain and pleasure. Took House navigates a landscape of bone and ash, wine and circumstance. Boundaries shift between reality and allegory. The unknown appears and repeats, eerily echoing need. Blame, power and disorder hover, unsettling what we know of love.
Publication Date: 2020-04-21
In her early twenties, Leila Chatti started bleeding and did not stop. Physicians referred to this bleeding as flooding. In the Qur'an, as in the Bible, the Flood was sent as punishment. The idea of disease as punishment drives this collection's themes of shame, illness, grief, and gender, transmuting religious narratives through the lens of a young Arab-American woman suffering a taboo female affliction.Deluge investigates the childhood roots of faith and desire alongside their present day enactments. Chatti's remarkably direct voice makes use of innovative poetic form to gaze unflinchingly at what she was taught to keep hidden. This powerful piece of life-writing depicts Chatti's journey from diagnosis to surgery and remission in meticulous chronology that binds body to spirit and advocates for the salvation of both. Chatti blends personal narrative, religious imagery, and medical terminology in a chronicle of illness, womanhood, and faith.
Lighthouse for the Drowning by
Publication Date: 2017-06-13
Presented bilingually, this first US publication of Jawdat Fakhreddine--one of the major Lebanese names in modern Arabic poetry--establishes a revolutionary dialogue between international, modernist values and the Arabic tradition. Fakhreddine's unique voice is a breakthrough for the poetic language of his generation--an approach that presents poetry as a beacon, a lighthouse that both opposes and penetrates all forms of darkness. Stars: Stars of ours that did not shine in the shroud of night, but we took joy in them when the night was a gloom all around us. To our children, we write: We are not your lighthouse. Do not follow the path we light, but be your own secrets. Jawdat Fakhreddine was born in 1953 in a small village in southern Lebanon. A professor of Arabic literature at the Lebanese University in Beirut, he is one of the major Lebanese names in Modern Arabic Poetry, and is considered one of the second generation poets of the modernist movement in the Arab world. He earned an MA in Physics and taught at the high school level for more than 10 years. During this time he published a number of poetry collections and was encouraged by Adonis to work on a PhD in Arabic literature. Fakhreddine intermittently publishes articles and new poems inal-Hayat newspaper, which is an Arab newspaper published in London and distributed worldwide, and inas-Safir, one of the two major Lebanese Newspapers. He writes a weekly article inal-Khaleej newspaper, a widely distributed gulf daily newspaper. He currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon.
Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance by
Publication Date: 2018-03-13
An exquisite and humane collection set to leave its mark on American poetics of the body and the body politic. In Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance, Fady Joudah has written love poems to the lovely and unlovely, the loved and unloved. Here he celebrates moments of delight and awe with his wife, his mentors, his friends, and the beauty of the natural world. Yet he also finds tenderness for the other, the dead, and the disappeared, bringing together the language of medicine with the language of desire in images at once visceral and vulnerable. A symptomatic moon. A peach, quartered like a heart, and a heart, quartered like a peach. "Icall the finding of certain things loss." Joudah is a translator between the heart and the mind, the flesh and the more-than-flesh, the wordbody and the world body--and between languages, with a polyglot's hyperresonant sensibility. In "Sagittal Views," the book's middle section, Joudah collaborates with Golan Haji, a Kurdish Syrian writer, to foreground the imaginative act of constructing memory and history. Together they mark the place the past occupies in the body, the cut that "runs deeper than speech." Generous in its scope, inventive in its movements and syntax,Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance is a richly rewarding and indispensable collection.
The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by
Publication Date: 2006-09-12
Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy is growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes. Along with her brother Eyad and her African-American friends, Hakim and Hanifa, she bikes the Indianapolis streets exploring the fault-lines between "Muslim" and "American." When her picture-perfect marriage goes sour, Khadra flees to Syria and learns how to pray again. On returning to America she works in an eastern state -- taking care to stay away from Indiana, where the murder of her friend Tayiba's sister by Klan violence years before still haunts her. But when her job sends her to cover a national Islamic conference in Indianapolis, she's back on familiar ground: Attending a concert by her brother's interfaith band The Clash of Civilizations, dodging questions from the "aunties" and "uncles," and running into the recently divorced Hakim everywhere. Beautifully written and featuring an exuberant cast of characters, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf charts the spiritual and social landscape of Muslims in middle America, from five daily prayers to the Indy 500 car race. It is a riveting debut from an important new voice.
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by
Publication Date: 2005-10-07
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, the debut of Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Laila Lalami, evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco. The book begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain.What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? There's Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who's been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who's fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future. Sensitively written with beauty and boldness, this is a gripping book about what propels people to risk their lives in search of a better future.
Above Us the Milky Way by
Publication Date: 2020-04-28
Above Us the Milky Way is a story about war, immigration, and the remarkable human capacity to create beauty out of horror. As a young family attempts to reconstruct their lives in a new and peaceful country, they are daily drawn back to the first land through remembrance and longing, by news of the continued suffering and loss of loved ones, and by the war dead, who have immigrated and reside with them, haunting their days and illuminating the small joys and wonders offered them by the new land. The novel's structure is built around the alphabet, twenty-six pieces written in the first person that sketch a through-line of memory for the lives of the five daughters, mother, and father. Ghost stories and fairytales are woven with old family photographs and medieval-style watercolor illuminations to create an origin story of loss and remembrance.
Born Palestinian, Born Black by
Publication Date: 2010-10-01
UpSet Press has restored to print Suheir Hammad's first book of poems, Born Palestinian, Born Black, originally published by Harlem River Press in 1996. The new edition is augmented with a new author's preface, and new poems, under the heading, The Gaza Suite, as well as a new publisher's note by Zohra Saed, an introduction by Marco Villalobos, and an afterword by Kazim Ali.
Shrapnel Maps by
Publication Date: 2020-04-24
Writing into the wounds and reverberations of the Israel/Palestine conflict, Philip Metres' fourth book of poems,Shrapnel Maps, is at once elegiac and activist, an exploratory surgery to extract the slivers of cartography through palimpsest and erasure. A wedding in Toura, a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, uneasy interactions between Arab and Jewish neighbors in University Heights, the expulsion of Palestinians in Jaffa, another bombing in Gaza:Shrapnel Maps traces the hurt and tender places, where political noise turns into the voices of Palestinians and Israelis. Working with documentary flyers, vintage postcards, travelogues, cartographic language, and first person testimonies,Shrapnel Maps ranges from monologue sonnets to prose vignettes, polyphonics to blackouts, indices to simultaneities, as Palestinians and Israelis long for justice and peace, for understanding and survival.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Never in a Hurry by
Publication Date: 1996-04-01
In "Never in a Hurry the poet Naomi Shihab Nye" resists the American tendency to "leave toward places whenn we barely have time enough to get there." Instaed she travels the world at an observant pace, talking to strangers and introducing readers to an endearing assemblage of great-great-aunts, eccentric neighbors, Filipina faith healers, dry-cleaning proprietors, hitchhikers, and other quirky characters, some of whom she met just once. As inviting and inventive as her poems, Nye's insightful essays spill forth from the collexction with the spontaneity of stories spoken across a kitchen table.
Sitti's Secrets by
Publication Date: 1997-10-01
A beautiful picture book about family and love across distance. Mona's grandmother, her Sitti, lives in a small Palestinian village on the other side of the earth. Once, Mona went to visit her. The couldn't speak each other's language, so they made up their own. They learned about each other's worlds, and they discovered each other's secrets. Then it was time for Mona to go back home, back to the other side of the earth. But even though there were millions of miles and millions of people between them, they remained true neighbors forever.
Toufic El Rassi
Arab in America by
Publication Date: 2008-01-30
Through his own life story, from childhood through is life as an adult, El Rassi illustrates the prejudices and discrimination Arabs and Muslims experience daily in American society. He contends with ignorant teachers, racist neighbours, bullying classmates and a growing sense of alienation. He also examines the roles that media and popular culture play and with examples from film and news media, he shows how difficult it is to have an Arab identity in a society saturated with anti-Arab messages.
Edward W. Said
Publication Date: 1979-10-12
More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic. In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, from its position of power, defined "the orient" simply as "other than" the occident. This entrenched view continues to dominate western ideas and, because it does not allow the East to represent itself, prevents true understanding. Essential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world.
Out of Place by
Publication Date: 2000-09-12
From one of the most important intellectuals of our time comes an extraordinary story of exile and a celebration of an irrecoverable past. A fatal medical diagnosis in 1991 convinced Edward Said that he should leave a record of where he was born and spent his childhood, and so with this memoir he rediscovers the lost Arab world of his early years in Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt. Said writes with great passion and wit about his family and his friends from his birthplace in Jerusalem, schools in Cairo, and summers in the mountains above Beirut, to boarding school and college in the United States, revealing an unimaginable world of rich, colorful characters and exotic eastern landscapes. Underscoring all is the confusion of identity the young Said experienced as he came to terms with the dissonance of being an American citizen, a Christian and a Palestinian, and, ultimately, an outsider. Richly detailed, moving, often profound, Out of Place depicts a young man's coming of age and the genesis of a great modern thinker.
Publication Date: 2020-03-01
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Shahr-E-Jaanaan sets out to recreate the universe of Urdu and Persian poetic tradition, its tropes both lenses and mirrors for the speaker's reality. As she maps her romances onto legends, directing their characters perform her own tragedy, their fantastical metaphors easily lend themselves to her fluctuating mental state. Cycling between delirious grandeur and wretched despair, she is torn between two selves--the pitiable lover continually rejected, and the cruel, unattainable beloved comparable in her exaltation to a god. SHAHR-E-JAANAAN explores, interrogates, and distorts these dichotomies and their symbolism, calling into question the forces that elevate some to divinity even as they damn others to injustice and oppression.