Articles tagged "Freedom"


Declining Freedom

Translator’s Note:  In Wajdi al-Ahdal’s novel Donkey in the Choir, Tha’ira, the rebellious wife of a Yemeni politician, has neglected work on her master’s degree since her…...

PEN World Voices Festival: Defiance: The Spirit of ‘89

Under the familiar image of the man staring down the tank, 10 writers and activists presented readings in honor of the 1989 Tiananmen democracy movements at Joe's Pub this Thursday. Excerpts from Gandhi,…...

The Way You Speak about a Cold

Moldova is a forgotten country. Even in Europe, many people hardly know of its existence. Forgotten countries are often poor, and this is also the case with Moldova. It's one of the poorest countries in…...

Book World

Recently I had lunch with a friend of mine in Manhattan. We had not even finished our sandwiches when my friend received her first text message. Usually I find it annoying when somebody starts reading…...

Everything for Literature

There is a myth that journalistic endeavors interfere with the true vocation of a novelist: writing novels. I find that the opposite is true. My journalistic excursions have, if anything, enhanced my work…...

My Book Party in Eupen

In September my new novel was published in the Netherlands. The book launch seems to have become an inevitable part of the publication of a new book, at least in the Netherlands. A publisher in the U.S.…...

Writing the Train in Switzerland

Last summer, I worked for almost three weeks as a chambermaid in a family hotel in the southern part of Bavaria. I wrote about this experience in a daily column for a Dutch newspaper. Later, an extract…...

Pints with Roddy Doyle

The first time that I drank Guinness was also the first time that I met Roddy Doyle. It was the winter of 1997. My Dutch publisher and I had decided to meet in Dublin, which is halfway between New York…...

Preparations for a Close Escape

In preparation for my trip to Iraq in May, I have now met with two war correspondents. One of them is an American. We met in a bar in Brooklyn. The other is a Dutch war correspondent with whom I had dinner…...

The Silence of the Outcasts: An Interview with Dacia Maraini

(Pescasseroli, Easter 2005) To meet with Dacia Maraini and speak with her in peace means going up to the bitter and severe lands of Abruzzo where the writer, who lives in Rome, takes refuge during holidays…...

The Literature of the Future

A couple of weeks ago on a cold night I walked to the Mercantile Library—for the first time in all these years that I have been living in Manhattan I have to admit—to listen to a discussion about…...

Embedded in Iraq

While looking for something else, I recently stumbled upon Cynthia Ozick's essay íPublic Intellectualsë in her collection Quarrel and Quandary. The essay itself is worth reading—as is…...

Free Aung San Suu Kyi!

As the feeding frenzy that is Frankfurt Book Fair gets into full swing, a more mindful energy is fuelling the monks leading the people power revolution against the Military Junta in Burma. Last Saturday,…...

Encounter

I have a feeling that it is a mistake to go to the party at Mr. M.'s, especially under the circumstances. Things have tightened up once more. Again scarves have to be pulled down all the way to the…...

I Look Around Me

NOTE: Iman Mersal was born in 1966 in a small village in the Delta. A graduate of Mansura University, she was co-editor from 1985 to 1988 of the independent feminist magazine, Bint al-Ard (Daughter of…...

High Fidelity

They'll be free from the gramophone's pain, its torture from the rub and the needles. Chaste, they'll not know the sin of singing a capella while hungry caught between the farce and the fair.…...

from The Ministry of Pain

Like the desert the northern landscape makes for absolutism. Except that in the north the desert is green and full of water. And there are no temptations, no roundnesses or curves. The land is flat, which…...

from The Asylum Seeker

One evening, after weeks of something like forty jars of vitamins and dozens of liters of strawberry juice, the Bird asks: "Would you mind if I got married?" In that marrying, Beck sees his enemy's…...

Freedom Can Be a Nightmare: An Interview with Kader Abdolah

This interview was originally published August 12, 1995, in NRC Handelsblad. A unique phenomenon in Dutch literature: Kader Abdolah, a political refugee from Iran who writes little gems of stories—in…...