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William Maynard Hutchins

WILLIAM MAYNARD HUTCHINS, who is based in North Carolina, was educated at Berea, Yale, and the University of Chicago. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for literary translation in 2005 - 2006 for his translation from Arabic of The Seven Veils of Seth by Ibrahim al-Koni (Garnet Publishing) and again in 2011 - 2012 for a translation of New Waw by Ibrahim al-Koni (the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas). He was the co-winner of the 2013 Saif Ghobash/Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for A Land Without Jasmine by Wajdi al-Ahdal (Garnet). He won the 2015 Prize for Prose Translation of the American Literary Translators Association for his translation of New Waw.

Paranoia

They suddenly seized control of all the media—radio, television, and print—till I felt these men with scowling faces, long black galabias, and dusty, unkempt beards dangling down to their breasts were pursuing me nonstop, allowing me no peace of mind whatsoever. They walked the streets with me, whether these were deserted or crowded. They patrolled the public gardens and roamed through the packed stores I occasionally visit to purchase supplies. They were with me too in the depressing gray office where I work for an insurance agency.

from The Waste Pickers

Jum‘a al-Dashshash knew all the dumpsters well—where they were located and what they typically contained. He had memorized all the streets and alleys and had learned what people on each were like from the refuse that accumulated in the bins and from the way residents threw trash at the dumpster.

Sandy Cinderella
A Scene from Daily Life in al-Najaf, Iraq

The expanse of the sky overhead revealed no sign of a coming storm. The weather was so clear she felt like sitting outside and gazing at the sky. So she decided to spread a mat on the ground as she did almost every day.

*OLD*Our Neighbors

I always closed the door when my father entered our house, but this time I left it open as I looked for a long time at two huge pots on black iron tripods beneath which flaming pieces of wood had been placed to turn to live coals.

from al-Majus (“The Fetishists”)

He stole the oil from his elderly black foster mother. He waited till she went out to milk the goats by the light of the splendid firebrand. Then he crept to her corner and poured the pure, mountain liquid in the water skin.

*OLD*Witch!

Yesterday, after a neighbor heard about my wretched situation, she took me to a witch she said would rid me of my husband if I paid a certain amount of money. The diviner also required me to procure handfuls of dirt from seven abandoned graves.

Witch!

Yesterday, after a neighbor heard about my wretched situation, she took me to a witch she said would rid me of my husband if I paid a certain amount of money. The diviner also required me to procure handfuls of dirt from seven abandoned graves.

Our Neighbors

I always closed the door when my father entered our house, but this time I left it open as I looked for a long time at two huge pots on black iron tripods beneath which flaming pieces of wood had been placed to turn to live coals.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

All Issues