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Fatima Yousef al-Ali | Translated from the Arabic by William M. Hutchins

FATMA YOUSEF AL-ALI, a Kuwaiti author, was born in 1953. Her thesis at Cairo University dealt with Kuwaiti women and the short story. She has published, in Arabic, a novel Wujuh fi-l-Ziham (Faces in the Crowd) that is recognized to be the first by a Kuwaiti woman and several collections of short stories: Wajhuha Watan (Her Face is a Nation), Ta? Marbuta (A Feminine Ending) , Dima? Ala-l-Qamar (Blood on the Moon), and Lismira wa-Akhwatuha (Lismira and Her Sisters). A collection of her short stories has appeared in Iran in a Farsi translation, and a book-length study, written by Hasan Hamid in Arabic, of her work has been published in Egypt.

WILLIAM HUTCHINS, who teaches in North Carolina, was educated at Berea, Yale, and the University of Chicago. His translations appear in Words Without Borders, InTranslation at Brooklyn Rail, and Banipal Magazine of Modern Arabic Literature. The Arabic novels he has translated include Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street, and Cairo Modern by Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz (Anchor Books), Basrayatha by the Iraqi author Muhammad Khudayyir (Verso), The Last of the Angels (The Free Press), Cell Block 5 (Arabia Books), and The Traveler and the Innkeeper (American University in Cairo Press) by the Iraqi author Fadhil al-Azzawi, Return to Dar al-Basha by the Tunisian author Hassan Nasr (Syracuse), and Anubis (The American University in Cairo Press), The Seven Veils of Seth (Garnet), and The Puppet (Texas) by Ibrahim al-Koni. He has been received two Literary Translation Awards from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A Woman’s Pains Never End

“Satan be damned!” She was barely conscious. She cleared her throat with difficulty, surprised to find herself alone in a hotel room. The night light she had left on in the bathroom, to help calm her fears, was still lit. The magazine was exactly where she had tossed it, open, on the vacant bed beside her.

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The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2021

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