LOS ANGELES, United States (Kurdistan24) – A UK publishing house recently printed and distributed the English translation of a prominent Kurdish novelist’s work.
Baxtiyar Ali’s novel Ghazalnus and the Gardens of Imagination, translated by Kareem Abdulrahman, was published by Periscope, an independent UK publisher.
The 422-page I Stared at the Night of the City is the English version of the Sorani novel published in 2008.
Kareem Abdulrahman is a UK-based journalist and translator who dedicated several years to translating a hefty novel written in the poetic and unique language of Baxtiyar Ali.
Ali, whose best-selling novel The Latest Pomegranate of the World made him a household name among Kurds, is one of the best-read novelists in the Kurdistan Region and the diaspora.
The Cologne-based novelist in his early 50s creates a world in I Stared at the Night of the City where the tyranny of politics and social conventions is overcome through imagination.
The bullet-proof, untamable power of imagination is where Ali’s characters, like the grief-stricken traumatized people of Kurdistan and other war-torn places on earth, find solace.
In the visionary novel, anything is possible and subversion is encouraged.
“A boy is born with a poem etched into his chest; a wild-eyed mystic consummates his love for a married woman in the spirit world; a political assassin discovers compassion and can no longer kill; a Hollywood film buff leads a cluster of blind children on an imaginary sea journey,” the publisher described.
Though Kurds are mentioned more than ever before in international media, often in one-dimensional stereotypical images of victims turned into Islamic State defeaters, very little of Kurdish art and culture is known in the world.
I Stared at the Night of the City is a journey taken in mind and on roads. It is described as “a lyrical interpretation of contemporary Kurdistan, so much in the news nowadays but otherwise so little understood.”
American publisher The Word Works recently published Kajal Ahmad’s poems translated in English.
Additionally, Choman Hardy, the Kurdish poet who writes in English, was nominated for the Forward poetry prize.
Kurdish-Canadian poet, Lozan Yamolsky, also recently released her debut poetry collection.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany