Traces of Enayat (Paperback)

Traces of Enayat By Iman Mersal, Robin Moger (Translator) Cover Image

Traces of Enayat (Paperback)

By Iman Mersal, Robin Moger (Translator)

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From one of the preeminent poets of the Arabic-speaking world, a brilliant work of creative nonfiction retracing the mysterious life and erasure of Egyptian literature's tragic heroine.


"A subtle and universal exploration of identity."--Aida Alami, The New York Times


Cairo, 1963: four years before her lone novel is finally published, the writer Enayat al-Zayyat takes her own life at age 27. For the next three decades, it's as if Enayat never existed at all.


Years later, when celebrated Egyptian poet Iman Mersal stumbles upon Enayat's long-forgotten Love and Silence in a Cairo book stall, she embarks on a journey of reflection and rediscovery that leads her ever closer to the world and work of Enayat al-Zayyat.


In this luminous biographical detective story, Mersal retraces Enayat's life and afterlife though interviews with family members and friend, even tracking down the apartments, schools, and sanatoriums where Enayat spent her days. As Mersal maps two simultaneous psychogeographies--from the glamor of golden-age Egyptian cinema to the Cairo of Mersal's own past--a remarkable portrait emerges of two women striving to live on their own terms. With Traces of Enayat, Iman Mersal embraces the reciprocal relationship between a text and its reader, between past and present, between author and subject.

Iman Mersal is an Egyptian poet, essayist, translator and literary scholar. Currently Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Alberta, Canada, she is the author of five books of Arabic poetry, selections from which have been translated into numerous languages. The English translation of her collection The Threshold was shortlisted for the 2023 Griffin Poetry Award. Originally published in Arabic in 2019, Traces of Enayat was awarded the prestigious Shaykh Zayed award for literature in 2021.Robin Moger is a translator of Arabic to English who lives in Barcelona. His translations of prose and poetry have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, The White Review, Asymptote, Words Without Borders, Washington Square Review, Michigan Review and elsewhere.
Product Details ISBN: 9781945492846
ISBN-10: 1945492848
Publisher: Transit Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 214
Language: English