‘Limbo Beirut’: A Don’t-miss Illustrated Novel of Contemporary Limbos, Beiruts

ArabLit

It was months ago now that novelist Hilal Chouman, translator Anna Ziajka Stanton, and ArabLit editor M. Lynx Qualey had a three-city Skype conversation about Chouman’s boundary-pushing novel Limbo Beirut, brought into five different English’s — for its five different Arabics — by Stanton:

37f20ddf-c8d3-4d79-a651-cb01f9d962fe-1672-0000094d3c44e4cf_tmp Now Qantara has run a roundup of that discussion about life, Limbo, translation, and the state of the Arabic novel. It opens:

″Limbo Beirut″ is mostly set in Beirut in May 2008, when Hezbollah and Sunni fighters clashed in the streets – a frightening after-echo of Lebanon′s fifteen-year civil war.

Yet this novel is not about warfare. As Stanton said in a three-city Skype conversation, ″Limbo Beirut″ is a demand that the reader ″balance in the uneasy space between being a voyeur and a participant, gratifying our desire to get inside the head of that stranger we meet on the street…but on the other hand…

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