Certain anthologies especially those which seek the "best" writing of a time, place, genre or generation invite debate about the hubris involved in the task and about the criteria which determines a writer's inclusion or exclusion. Beirut 39 does not claim such ambitions, nor is it meant to represent contemporary Arabic literature. To quote its editor, Samuel Shimon, the book is "
only a first step to discovering the extraordinary talents" of the men and women whose short stories, novel excerpts, and poems appear in translation from Arabic and French, and in one case, in its original English.
This remarkably humble approach may seem prescient in retrospect as other reviewers have remarked on the anthology's unevenness, and several entries bear mixed results. One of these is "The Path to Madness", which features a trio of narrators and their ...
Read a complete short story from the collection: Haneef from Glasgow by Mohammad Hassan Alwan
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