Literature of Exile: Palestine

Like the Kurds, to be a Palestinian is to grow up in exile, and with exile as a family heritage. During the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948, "more than half of Palestine's native population, close to 800,000 people had been uprooted, 531 villages had been destroyed, and eleven urban neighborhoods emptied of their inhabitants (from … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Palestine

Literature of Exile: LGBTQ authors

The life of an exile is always complicated, but being an LGBTQ+ refugee can sometimes mean exile from your family and community as well as from your homeland. Today we look at writers from Iran, Somalia, and Pakistan who have confronted the challenge of being a gay refugee. Négar Djavadi flatly states, "I’m not an … Continue reading Literature of Exile: LGBTQ authors

Literature of Exile: Mohja Kahf

“The longest exile is exile of the heartThe only passage for return is love”― Mohja Kahf, E-mails from Scheherazad “[He] [w]ent deep into the cave where wounded men go when they walk around not talking to anyone about what's happening to them on the inside. Also known as Terre Haute.” "Liar," she says to the … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Mohja Kahf

Literature of Exile: The Ashour/Barghouti Family

"Silence said:truth needs no eloquence.After the death of the horseman,the homeward-bound horsesays everythingwithout saying anything." • 'Silence' translated by Radwa Ashour from Midnight and Other Poems, by Mourid Barghouti Although exile is often a family experience it's rare that it produces a family of acclaimed writers. And yet we have the remarkable Ashour/Barghouti family: Mourid … Continue reading Literature of Exile: The Ashour/Barghouti Family

Literature of Exile: Poetry (part 1)

Many of the earliest poems known, from the ancient world, deplore the pain of exile. Whether it is the highly stylized verse of the Arab world, or the oral recitation of Western Saharan, exiles and refugees from all parts of the world have shared their experiences of grief, loss and homesickness through poetry. With so … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Poetry (part 1)

Literature of Exile: Dina Nayeri

Sometimes all that’s left of value in an exile’s life is his identity. Please stop asking people to rub out their face as tribute. Many refugees express profound thankfulness and love for their adopted homeland, yet they often feel burdened with the obligation to embrace their new country and reject the old completely. Criticism of … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Dina Nayeri

Literature of Exile: Graphic Novels

One of the coolest trends in literature is the proliferation of graphic novels as a format for addressing serious issues. Alison Bechdel, Daniel Clowes, and Chris Ware are just a few author/artists who have demonstrated that graphic novels can be high art and great literature. The most dramatic and influential graphic novel of the late … Continue reading Literature of Exile: Graphic Novels

#ExileLit Welcome to the Literature of Exile

My name is Lesley Williams, and I am guest editing the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative blog for November. What a tremendous honor! As a librarian, I enjoy combining my love of beautiful writing with advancing social justice. So what better theme to choose that the literature of exile? Ovid, Dante, Victor Hugo, Wole Soynika, … Continue reading #ExileLit Welcome to the Literature of Exile

#TranslatedLit Comma Press: Reading the City Anthologies by Becca Parkinson

Since its inception, Comma Press has aimed to put short stories at the heart of narrative culture. We specialise in the form for a multitude of reasons, but to mention just a few, publishing short stories is an attempt to democratise literature, to call for pluralism, and to identify cutting-edge and often marginalised voices from … Continue reading #TranslatedLit Comma Press: Reading the City Anthologies by Becca Parkinson

#GlobalPRIDELitMonth: The Others, An Anonymous Arabic Novel from Saudi Arabia

“[This book] could be the most controversial novel to emerge in our times, not just from Saudi Arabia, but from the whole of the Arab world.”Al-Hayat The Others follows an unnamed narrator - a young Shi’i woman living in the Eastern Province of predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia - as she navigates college life during the … Continue reading #GlobalPRIDELitMonth: The Others, An Anonymous Arabic Novel from Saudi Arabia