Literature

Palestinian Novel Wins International Prize for Arabic Fiction News Roundup
Natasha Onwuemezi, The Bookseller

Palestinian Novel Wins International Prize for Arabic Fiction

A novel about Palestinian life in occupation and exile by Rabai al-Madhoun has won the ninth $50,000 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba, published by Maktabat Kul Shee (Haifa, Palestine), was named the winner by this year’s chair of Judges, Emirati poet and academic Amina Thiban, at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

about 1 week ago
Literary Stars Learn ‘Occupation 101’ Firsthand in Tense Tour of West Bank News Roundup
Naomi Zeveloff, Forward

Literary Stars Learn ‘Occupation 101’ Firsthand in Tense Tour of West Bank

The American writer Ayelet Waldman was on a tour near the Hamra checkpoint, deep inside the Palestinian West Bank, when a silver car with Israeli plates pulled over. The driver, an Israeli Jew, got out and began taking photos of Waldman’s tour group, which included the Austrian author Eva Menasse and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks, as well as a bevy of photographers and anti-occupation activists.

about 3 weeks ago
PEN Should Not Accept Israeli Propaganda Money to Fund Festival Op-Eds & Analysis
Susan Abulhawa, Middle East Eye

PEN Should Not Accept Israeli Propaganda Money to Fund Festival

PEN American Center, which describes itself as “the US branch of the world’s leading international literary and human rights organisation,” has chosen to align, once again, with the government of Israel, one of the world’s most persistent abusers of human rights. It has accepted funding for the annual World Voices Festival from the Israeli embassy as part of the Brand Israel programme...

on April 7, 2016
Authors Criticize PEN American Center for Israel Gov’t Sponsorship News Roundup
Shane Barnes , Flavorwire

Authors Criticize PEN American Center for Israel Gov’t Sponsorship

All is not well in the literary world. That could be true at any moment of any day, sure, but this week has been especially tumultuous. Maybe that’s not accurate, either, because the letter that’s causing headlines (like this one!) was actually sent in March, though it’s only just now been made available to the public.

on April 7, 2016
Pulitzer Winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, Alice Walker Join Over 100 Writers in Calling for PEN… News Roundup
Mondoweiss/Adalah-NY

Pulitzer Winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, Alice Walker Join Over 100 Writers in Calling for PEN…

In a letter made public today over 100 writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Díaz, Richard Ford, and Alice Walker, and award-winning author Louise Erdrich, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for PEN’s annual World Voices Festival. The seven-day Festival takes place from April 25 to May 1 in New York City.

on April 5, 2016
Young Palestinian Poet Brings To Life The Troubles Of Jerusalem News Roundup
Charlotte Alfred, The Huffington Post

Young Palestinian Poet Brings To Life The Troubles Of Jerusalem

Mohammed al-Kurd was something of a child star. When he was 11 years old, Israeli settlers took over part of his family’s home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, sparking protests by Palestinian and Israeli activists. Al-Kurd was the main subject of an award-winning documentary about the episode called "My Neighborhood."

on January 29, 2016
Amer Zahr: Comedian Palestinian-American Profiles
Karmah Elmusa, IMEU

Amer Zahr: Comedian

If you’re a Palestinian and you want to find reasons to be sad, it’s not difficult,” says Zahr. “I believe that no matter who we are, and no matter what sort of situation you’re in, there are at least 5 to 10 funny things that happen to you every day. Or if you’re a Palestinian, it’s more like 50 or 100 things. We live in a surreal universe, and we see a lot of weird stuff.”

on January 21, 2016
Israel Bans Novel on Arab-Jewish Romance From Schools for ‘Threatening Jewish Identity’ News Roundup
Or Kashti, Haaretz

Israel Bans Novel on Arab-Jewish Romance From Schools for ‘Threatening Jewish Identity’

Israel’s Education Ministry has disqualified a novel that describes a love story between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man from use by high schools around the country. The move comes even though the official responsible for literature instruction in secular state schools recommended the book for use in advanced literature classes, as did a professional committee of academics and educators, at the request of a number of teachers.

on December 31, 2015
Alice Walker on The Color Purple Revival, Palestine and Parental Peace News Roundup
Karu F. Daniels, NBC News

Alice Walker on The Color Purple Revival, Palestine and Parental Peace

As the revival of 'The Color Purple' the musical enters its second week of previews on Broadway this week, Alice Walker -- the lauded author who wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning novel upon which it is based -- is excited about the latest incarnation of her most fabled work.

on November 18, 2015