A review of the novel for On the Seawall:
The Harvard Book Store organized a reading and discussion with my friend and former professor, the fabulous novelist Claire Messud on Friday, July 10th. Recording is here.
A conversation with Ishmael Beah, the inaugural event organized by Bookshop.org.
More information and registration is here.
On July 7, 2020, Christina Chiu and the New York Writers Workshop invited me and the investigative journalist Toby Muse to present our books. We talked about the drug war, the war on terror, fiction vs nonfiction, and gin vs tonic.
The recording is here:
I translated Abu Dulaf’s fascinating and fabulous tenth-century ode to thievery, beggary, charlatanry, and blasphemy for Arab Lit Quarterly. Get the issue here.
“But now I have to contradict myself again, because since I wrote that, protests erupted against racial injustice and police brutality in the US, and I find myself gazing at footage of New York streets that I’ve marched down myself in past protests. So many protests these past few years. But now bigger than ever, and only growing this past week. I’ve read horrified posts of police violence, but also posts saying I’ve never seen New York so beautiful. I’m reminded of the days after Tahrir, or during Gezi when so many stood together, of Damascus and Aleppo before all that was crushed, before the aftermath made it all so much worse. And I hope, despite everything, that this time it will break through.”
I wrote about reading during the pandemic and protests for Rescue Press. The full article is here.
“Those long nights were rampant with visions. I felt the cycling nature of vigilant consciousness, its relentlessness, until I could only utter crazed laughter at the edge of a sob. There were times I maintained a crystal focus through all the turbulence, when the ceremony felt like a delicate refining of attention. Or I took a break, walked outside to piss and stare at the endless march of leaf-carrying ants, watch electrical storms over the valley, or smoke rough local tobacco on a bench beneath the ojé tree. At one point I sat speaking Serbian with our molecular biologist—a Hungarian from Vojvodina—and that was as mind-bending as anything.
On the seventh night, after many hours, Miguel ended the ceremony and propped himself against the wall of the maloka. He’d been disturbed by the night’s visions.
Chucha, he said. This corona virus is like the plague from the Bible.”
A dispatch from the Amazonian Andes during the pandemic. The full story is here.
“Part of the story is to see that as misanthropic and pessimistic as Tess is, what she truly wants to do is to serve, to give everything away, to flow like water downhill. I could pick apart much of it in terms of contradiction.”
The full interview is here.