With its broad scope and extensive research, this book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in Arabic literature, women's studies, or comparative literature. Arab Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide, 1873-1999
Escritoras Árabes: Una guía de referencia crítica, 1873-1999
por Radwa Ashour (Editora), Ferial Ghazoul
Una nueva e invaluable fuente de referencia y revisión crítica de las escritoras árabes desde el último cuarto del siglo XIX hasta el final del siglo XX.
La obra de las escritoras árabes en la era moderna comenzó con Aisha al-Taymuriya, Warda al-Yaziji, Zaynab Fawwaz, y otros pioneras del siglo XIX en Egipto y el Levante.
Este primer y singular estudio publicado en árabe en 2004, analiza el trabajo de aquellas pioneras y luego rastrea el desarrollo de la literatura de las mujeres árabes hasta el final del siglo XX, y también incluye una meticulosa investigación, con bibliografía completa de los escritos de las mujeres árabes.
En la primera sección, en nueve ensayos que cubren el Oriente Medio árabe, desde Marruecos hasta Irak y desde Siria a Yemen, críticos y escritores del mundo árabe examinan el origen y la evolución de los escritos de las mujeres en cada país de la región: ficción, poesía, drama, y autobiografías.
La segunda sección del volumen contiene entradas bibliográficas de más de 1.200 escritoreas árabes desde el último tercio del siglo XIX hasta 1999. Cada entrada contiene una breve biografía y una bibliografía de obras publicadas de cada autora. Esta sección también incluye los escritos de las mujeres árabes en francés e Inglés, así como una bibliografía de obras traducidas al Inglés.
Con su amplio alcance e investigación, este libro es un recurso indispensable para cualquier persona interesada en la literatura árabe, estudios de la mujer árabe, o literatura comparada.
Arab Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide, 1873-1999
by Radwa Ashour (Editor), Ferial Ghazoul
An invaluable new reference source and critical review of Arab women writers from the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century .
Arab women's writing in the modern age began with 'A'isha al-Taymuriya, Warda al-Yaziji, Zaynab Fawwaz, and other nineteenth-century pioneers in Egypt and the Levant.
This unique study-first published in Arabic in 2004-looks at the work of those pioneers and then traces the development of Arab women's literature through the end of the twentieth century, and also includes a meticulously researched, comprehensive bibliography of writing by Arab women. In the first section, in nine essays that cover the Arab Middle East from Morocco to Iraq and Syria to Yemen, critics and writers from the Arab world examine the origin and evolution of women's writing in each country in the region, addressing fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiographical writing.
The second part of the volume contains bibliographical entries for over 1,200 Arab women writers from the last third of the nineteenth century through 1999. Each entry contains a short biography and a bibliography of each author's published works. This section also includes Arab women's writing in French and English, as well as a bibliography of works translated into English.
With its broad scope and extensive research, this book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in Arabic literature, women's studies, or comparative literature.
Radwa Ashour was an Egyptian writer and scholar.
Ashour had published 7 novels, an autobiographical work, 2 collections of short stories and 5 criticism books. Part I of her Granada Trilogy won the Cairo International Book Fair “1994 Book of the Year Award.” The Trilogy won the First Prize of the First Arab Woman Book Fair (Cairo, Nov. 1995). The Granada Trilogy was translated into Spanish; part I of the Trilogy was translated into English. Siraaj, An Arab Tale was published in English translation, and Atyaaf was published in Italian. Her short stories have been translated into English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.
Ashour has co-edited a major 4-volume work on Arab women writers (2004); The English translation: Arab Women Writings: A Critical Reference Guide: 1873-1999 is an abridged edition of the Arabic original.
As a translator Ashour has co-translated, supervised and edited the Arabic translation of Vol. 9 of The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.
In 2007 Ashour was awarded the 2007 Constantine Cavafy Prize for Literature.
She was married to the Palestinian author Mourid Bargouthi & a mother of Tameem who's also a poet.
Ashour was professor of English and Comparative Literature, Ain Shams University, Cairo
Obituario por Radwa Ashour
Escritora egipcia valiente, académica y traductora, conocida por su trilogía de Granada, Radwa Ashour era una voz poderosa entre los escritores egipcios de la generación de posguerra y una escritora de integridad y coraje excepcionales. Su trabajo versó de manera consistente sobre la historia de su país y reflejó su pasión: "Soy una mujer árabe y una ciudadana del tercer mundo", declaró, en un ensayo para la antología The View from Within (1994), "y mi patrimonio en ambos casos ... es amordazado ... escribió en defensa propia y en defensa de un sinnúmero de otros con los que se identificó.
A través de una serie de novelas, memorias y estudios literarios, Ashour, que ha muerto el último mes de diciembre de 2014, de 68 años, después de sufrir de cáncer, registró la turbulencia sin fin de su tiempo, ya que ella y sus contemporáneos lucharon por las libertades, desde el final de la influencia británica hasta el reciente levantamiento árabe y sus secuelas.
Radwa Ashour obituary
Courageous Egyptian writer, academic and translator known for her Granada trilogy
Radwa Ashour at the Hay Festival Alhambra, Granada, southern Spain, in 2008. Photograph: Juan Ferreras/EPA
Monday 8 December 2014
Radwa Ashour was a powerful voice among Egyptian writers of the postwar generation and a writer of exceptional integrity and courage. Her work consistently engages with her country’s history and reflects passionately upon it. “I am an Arab woman and a citizen of the third world,” she declared, in an essay for the anthology The View from Within (1994), “and my heritage in both cases is stifled ... I write in self-defence and in defence of countless others with whom I identify or who are like me.”
Through a series of novels, memoirs, and literary studies, Ashour, who has died aged 68 after suffering from cancer, recorded the unending turbulence of her times, as she and her contemporaries struggled for freedoms, from the end of British influence to the recent Arab uprising and its aftermath.
Born in Cairo, Radwa came from a literary and scholarly family: her father, Mustafa Ashour, was a lawyer but had strong literary interests, while her mother, Mai Azzam, was a poet and artist. Radwa evoked in her writing how she was raised to recite the poetic corpus of Arabic literature by her grandfather Abdelwahab Azzam, a diplomat and professor of oriental studies and literature at Cairo University, who first translated the classic Persian Book of Kings (Shahnama) into Arabic, as well as other Oriental classics.
A student of comparative literature, she attended Cairo University during the ferment of the late 1960s and early 70s, attaining her MA in 1972. She then went on to do a PhD at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; in accordance with her concern for human rights and independence, she worked on African-American literature, receiving her doctorate in 1975. She then returned to Cairo, to Ain Shams University, where she taught – in conditions that were often difficult internally and externally – with immense dedication throughout her career, becoming professor of English and comparative literature in 1986, and serving as head of the department of English language and literature from 1990 to 1993.
Political activism was embedded in her academic career; as President Anwar Sadat argued for normalisation with Israel, Ashour helped found the National Committee Against Zionism in Egyptian Universities. Later, as Hosni Mubarak’s police state pushed into academic life, she helped found the March 9 Group for the independence of universities.
Her academic publications started in 1977 and included (with Ferial Ghazoul and others) the four-volume standard reference on Arab women writers (2004; published in English in an abridged, single volume, 2008). By the 80s, Ashour was moving into her own form of fiction and testimony. Her first book, The Journey: Memoirs of an Egyptian Student in America, came out in 1983; her first novel, Warm Stone, appeared two years later.
Then a stream of increasingly ambitious works followed: Siraaj (1992, translated in 2007) – a succinct, visionary fable – blended a Sinbadlike adventure with a compassionate allegory about tyranny – colonial and other – on an imaginary island in the Arabian Gulf; Granada (1994-95, first volume translated in 2003), a trilogy, returned to the period of convivencia in Spain – the era from the eighth century until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 during which Christians, Muslims and Jews lived alongside one another – and its destruction. Granada was voted one of the 105 best Arabic novels of the 20th century by the Arabic Writers’ Union.
Like so many writers in the region, Ashour did not use historical fiction only to retrace the past, but adopted the form as a lens by which to look more deeply, often under conditions of censorship, into current oppression. In Spectres (1998, translated 2010), she ingeniously intertwined a fictive alter ego with remembered scenes from her own youth, producing a moving and vivid drama set in the political unrest of the Nasser and Sadat years, and giving shivers of uncanny deja vu throughout. In more recent publications, such as Heavier Than Radwa (2013), Blue Lorries and The Woman from Tantoura (both translated in 2014), Ashour experimented with inbetween forms: “autobiografictions”, imaginative essay meditations and allegory.
She was also a very fine, perceptive translator from Arabic into English and her translation of the collection Midnight and Other Poems (2008) by her husband, the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, demonstrates her finely tuned knowledge of the metre and imagery of English poetry. They met as students in Cairo, and married in 1970. Their son, Tamim, also a poet, was born in 1977. The same year, Barghouti, along with many other Palestinians, was deported from Egypt in the runup to Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem; he was unable to return for 17 years, and this forced the family to live apart. He eventually worked for the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s media operation in Budapest, Hungary, where Ashour and Tamim would visit him every summer holiday.
In Spectres, Ashour recalls scenes of exuberant family joy, as they quote strophes of al-Mutanabbi and other poets by heart in a friendly rivalrous counterpoint which resolves into a chorus of pleasure. One of Tamim’s poems, Ya Masr Hanet (Oh Egypt, It’s Close), was taken up during the Arab Spring to become a song of freedom for revolution all over the region. Another, in 2003, was a homage to his mother; to her thought, her courage and her writing.
As a witness as well as a creative force, Ashour never wavered. She will surely occupy an important place in the story to which she attended with such sensitivity and conscience.
She is survived by Mourid and Tamim.
• Radwa Ashour, writer, born 26 May 1946; died 30 November 2014