The NTA Countdown to ALTA43: The Quarter

The NTA Countdown to ALTA43: The Quarter

Join us as we count down to the ALTA43: In Between awards ceremony with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose longlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for prose are Amaia Gabantxo, Emmanuel D. Harris II, and William Maynard Hutchins. This year’s judges for poetry are Ilya Kaminsky, Lisa Katz, and Farid Matuk.

The awards ceremony will air on October 15, 2020 on ALTA’s Crowdcast page: you can register to attend the NTA in Prose announcement here, and the NTA in Poetry announcement here. Find the full list of longlisted titles here.

Today we’re shining the spotlight on NTA in Prose longlisted title The Quarter:

The Quarter
by Naguib Mahfouz
translated from the Arabic by Roger Allen
(Saqi Books)

Umm Radi, who sold spice-paste, declared: “Glances from those flashing eyes . . . go straight into the heart of the person she’s talking to . . .”

Roger Allen has, for many years, been one of the most distinguished Western scholars and translators of Arabic literature. He brings those years of study and his personal friendship with Naguib Mahfouz to excellent purpose in this translation of a formerly lost set of stories by the late Nobel Prize winner. For readers of Mahfouz, this book may well remind them of his book Fountain and Tomb. Like that collection of stories, The Quarter has a mysterious, sacred structure at one end of the street—in this case, a cellar.