Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Gribetz, “Defining Neighbours”

A few fascinating and thought-provoking excerpts from Jonathan Gribetz’s excellent exploration of intellectual life and perceptions of faith in Late Ottoman and early inter-war Palestine (Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and … Continue reading

May 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

New review: Lital Levy’s ‘Poetic Trespass’

Electronic Intifada, 19 May 2015 Rather, Levy puts forward an analysis of the ways in which literature and language have operated in the dark corners of this power-ridden, unequal environment. … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · 1 Comment

New review: Decolonizing Palestinian Politicial Economy, ed Turner & Shweiki

Electronic Intifada, 1 May 2015 The forceful reminder they put forward is that the habit into which many (most?) of us so easily slip in talking about Palestinians living in … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

New Review: Darwish, ‘Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone?’

Electronic Intifada, 24 April 2015 In the closing poem of the book, Darwish shapes a scenario which could be that of the West Bank in which he lived his final … Continue reading

April 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

The first 9/11 – forty years on

September 11th is now, of course, remembered chiefly for Al-Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Centre. Which, whatever evils the US government may have committed, and whatever horrors global capitalism … Continue reading

September 10, 2013 · 1 Comment

Leila Khaled biog: Arabic edition

Yesterday I got sent a cover scan of the Arabic edition of my biography of Leila Khaled. It’s published by Al Muassasah Al Arabiya lil Dirasat wal Nashr in Beirut, … Continue reading

August 19, 2013 · 3 Comments

Rant of the week: academic book pricing

Meet the current object of my affections: This little hottie is Like Joseph in Beauty, a book on a Yemeni poetry form called Humayni. Fairly obscure stuff, I grant you, … Continue reading

August 18, 2013 · 3 Comments

Castration and sticky-back plastic

Now THIS is how you get web impressions, retweets and Facebook shares for an article which is, essentially, about medieval economics. You use a title like “Vikings raided monasteries to … Continue reading

August 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

Ibrahim Nasrallah, Edinburgh, 12th March

After a string of depressing things, I just got a very nice press release from the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World in Edinburgh, saying that the … Continue reading

February 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Burning books [1]

The ‘Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street’ commemorates the bombing in 2007 of the famous booksellers’ street of Baghdad. Thirty people were killed, a hundred injured, and hundreds if not thousands of … Continue reading

February 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

Decline and fall of civilisation, young people today etc etc

I’m not in a strong position to complain, since I benefit from sources of cheap second-hand books, but I found this rather depressing: Especially since it was stamped on this: … Continue reading

December 13, 2012 · Leave a comment

Publishing job at Pluto

One of my (for obvious reasons) favourite publishers is advertising a job! A rare opportunity to get into left-wing/independent publishing in London (if you’re foolish enough to want to live … Continue reading

November 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Ditching Amazon

Inspired by a recent feature from my old employers, Ethical Consumer magazine, I’ve finally taken down my Amazon affiliate links from this site. I should have done it years ago, … Continue reading

November 2, 2012 · 1 Comment

Sara Maitland: Gossip from the Forest

Despite the sudden descent of a lot of extremely Arctic air onto Edinburgh yesterday evening, it was very much worth venturing out for Sara Maitland‘s unofficial launch of her latest … Continue reading

October 26, 2012 · 1 Comment