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Translating the Arabic Novel

Translating the Arabic Novel
1 King's College Circle, Medical Sciences Building, Room 2170
Time: Feb 26th, 6:30 pm End: Feb 26th, 8:00 pm
Interest Categories: Religion, Study of (FAS), Political Science, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS), Islamic Studies, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), Diaspora/Transnational, Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), African, 2000-, 1950-2000
A Conversation between Sonallah Ibrahim and Robyn Creswell

The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations is pleased to present:

Translating the Arabic Novel: A Conversation between Sonallah Ibrahim and Robyn Creswell

Moderated by Jeannie Miller

Sonallah Ibrahim is the renowned author of a number of iconic Arabic novels, including Tilka al-Ra'iha (That Smell), Zaat, and al-Lajna (The Committee). Born in Cairo in 1937, he studied law at Cairo University and was imprisoned in 1959 for his political activities. While serving his five-year sentence, he wrote Notes from Prison and composed That Smell shortly following his release. After several years abroad, he returned in 1974 to Cairo, where he has lived ever since. In 2004, he was awarded the Egyptian government’s prestigious Novelist of the Year prize. Ibrahim publicly declined the award, saying he could not accept a literary prize from “a government that, in my opinion, lacks the credibility to bestow it.”

Robyn Creswell is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University and poetry editor of The Paris Review. He is the translator of Abdelfattah Kilito’s The Clash of Images (New Directions, 2010), and Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell and Notes from Prison (New Directions, 2013). His essays and reviews have been published in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and The Nation, among other publications. A former fellow of the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, he is the recipient of the 2013 Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is encouraged for the reception to follow.  Please send your RSVP to Eugenia Tsao.

This event was supported by:

  • Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
  • Arab-Canadian Cultural Group
  • Institute of Islamic Studies
  • Toronto Arabic Studies Colloquium
  • Middle Eastern History & Theory Workshop
  • Egyptian Students' Association

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