Saleh to the defence

Al-Tayib Saleh on writing in the Arab world:
“If you find a publisher who believes in Arab literature and takes a risk on it, not just publishing a few thousand books, you will find readers for it,” said the 76-year-old writer, who is married to a Scot and has lived much of his life in England.
“The Arab novel has reached a very high standard which is comparable to any standard, anywhere in the world. The fact that this is not recognised abroad is a matter either of criteria … or it is a lack of enthusiasm for foreign products,” he said…
“The lack of Arab literature translated over the decades has not helped to further public understanding of the Arab and Muslim world in the West, says Salih, who left Sudan in 1953 to work for the BBC Arabic service in London.
“The Arabs and the Muslims have become ‘the other’, the unknown quantity,” he said. “People make such dreadful assumptions and mistakes about the Arabs out of sheer ignorance. I wouldn’t say malice, but it is ignorance.”

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