My brief essay on Hassan Blasim in Kitaab, a site dedicated to the works of Asian writers.
Iraq hasn’t recovered from the throes of the devastation that invasion brought. It continues to be mired in sectarian conflicts, external attacks and extreme poverty. Who could possibly think of looking a hundred years into its future?
If anyone could, it would be Hassan Blasim.
Read the full essay here.
An extensive essay on literature from Bangladesh reflecting the effects of Parition and its enduring presence in the Indian sub-continent. Poet, translator, and essayist Kaiser Haq writes in The Daily Star:
Bangladesh’s Partition literature deserves to be considered alongside similar works from other parts of the subcontinent. But more important than literary criticism is the task of transcending the conflicts that have given rise to the literature. Perhaps the most deleterious outcome of Partition has been the partitioning of the subcontinental mind. We have not only become an extended family of squabbling nations, we have grown to deny our civilisational unity. It is imperative that we make efforts to rediscover our commonality.
Erika Almenara is assistant professor of Latin American Literature and Culture for the World Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. A report on her work on gender identity in post-conflict societies.
Almenara studies the aftermath of human rights abuses in Peru and in Chile, particularly as they affect gender identity. She spent four weeks in Latin America in May and June, conducting research in Lima and Santiago de Chile.
“I think that in order to talk about these periods of violence, you cannot tell the stories from only the singular self,” she said. “These languages need to be both individual and common, distinctly individual yet somehow representative of many.
“By acting in a transvestite way, these narratives destroy the notion of the self. That’s a powerful and innovative way to talk about suffering, to talk about memory, to talk about violence.”
More on her work here.
Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has been ravaged by war for a decade now. Poets from the region have joined forces to spread the message of peace. More than 300 books have been written on the subject of “peace” over the last decade.
Read more about the peace poetry movement in Asia Times.
A new generaration of Palestinian writers is taking their literature beyond the ongoing conflict. As Janan Bsoul reports in Haaretz:
In recent years, a generation of young Palestinian writers has begun to write about the Palestinian predicament from their point of view, about “life itself.”
Read the complete article.