Robyn Creswell teaches comparative literature at Brown University and is poetry editor of The Paris Review. His translation of Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell and Notes from Prison was published in the spring.
Rabee Jaber’s novel, The Mehlis Report, published in Arabic in 2005 and now expertly translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, takes place in the summer and fall following Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s assassination. The novel evokes this unsettled period with frightening precision. It reads like a historical novel that happens to be about the very recent past.