Baha Taher Wins English
Looks like the Booker Prize people have created an Arabic analog, and have declared a first-ever winner.

"Sunset Oasis," by Baha Taher

The guy is 73, and has published 14 books, including four short story collections.

From the "Khaleej Times," in the UAE:

"Sunset Oasis is a novel set in 19th century British-occupied Egypt, with a complex story about love, history and heritage. "There is no future without the past," was the general message Taher intended to convey through this novel.

According to Samuel Shimon, president of the judging committee, "The story is a tolerant dialogue between East and West, defending dialogue, calling for peace and denouncing hatred."

From a technical point of view, "the book is also constructed on a very impressive linguistic architecture," added Shimon."

I want to read it. Don't you? We'll get to have a look soon: an English translation is one of the prizes, in addition to sixty grand.

Evidently, this translation is being "funded" as we speak. I hope that means that crack teams of publishing's most impressive translators are tearing through it in rotating shifts in some hardened bunker in Switzerland.

And they have a treadmill in the break room. To stay hard. To stay strong for their next "op."

Posted by miracle on Wed, 12 Mar 2008 06:04:38 -0400 -- permanent link

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