kanafani’s rijal fii al shams/men in the sun, a celebration

I’m just celebrating my acquisition of the book in Arabic from the huge and richly stocked Dar al Shourouk -which is nicely complemented by the small and richly stocked al Jameat- in Ramallah. Since posting on Kanafani I want y’all to know that search engines connect someone to that page every day, which suggests a significant market for the book.

I’m pleased to see that Arabia Books have just re-issued Emile Habiby’s The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist and have a page on it here. (Updated Mar 2018) With the warmest respect to Kanafani’s publisher in Colorado [in English] and in Nicosia [Arabic] I do wish there were a UK edition…

Meanwhile Men in the Sun is available from UK distributors here.

Dar al Shourouk’s Arabic website is here and they can be contacted at shorokpr [at] palnet [dot] com

Al Jameat can be contacted at al-jameat [at] maktoob [dot] com

russell hoban lost and found, for the record

With another new novel due from Russell Hoban this Winter [Angelica Lost and Found, Bloomsbury], I’m re-archiving a profile/interview/critical piece I wrote for The Independent near the beginning of his admirably sustained resurgence -if I can put it like that.

So much earnest nonsense is regurgitated in the British press about ‘lateness’ in the writing of fiction -usually from the chin of Martin Amis- that I enjoy the way that Hoban continues to take his chances, give his best shot, make more writerly attempts. I admire him as a writer as such, rather more than for his writing sentence-by-sentence, which I hope I articulate with more precision below.

Some of my favourite works of fiction -let’s just instance Bouvard and Pecuchet– were written not only ‘late’ but too late -in that they’re not ‘finished’. Actually, I shouldn’t blame Amis [whose Success, Money and Experience will last] for having his thoughts/neuroses on the subject, but those who have reported boyish bar-talk so solemnly throughout my entire adult life!

So here is the Hoban rescued from The Independent’s patchy site. One thing; mention of a blue plaque [in a sentence with a cut and now edited-back-in second half for clarity] was a joke! Right? Obviously. Or it would be obvious to anyone that knows him or his work, or indeed me and mine. In the back of my mind were the ironies of memorialising Edgar Allan Poe’s short time in London -The Man of the Crowd, all that.

His British publisher’s page is here and a well-stocked ‘reference page’ is here.

A first review of Angelica Lost and Found is here.

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