2008 Between the Lines

What do you do when a flood closes campus one day before 12 teenage students and 3 chaperones are scheduled to arrive from 6200 miles away? You relocate, of course!

As a consequence of the flood, the inaugural session of Between the Lines debuted not at the University of Iowa, but at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), which generously provided dorm and class space at almost the last minute. Instructors Iman Humaydan and Dunya Mikhail conducted Arabic-language workshops in the mornings, while instructors Daniel Khalastchi and Anjali Sachdeva conducted English-language seminars in the afternoons. Students were able to try their hand at fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translation, and even playwriting.

The participants, who hailed from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority, and many of whom had never been to the United States before, got to experience much of what Chicago has to offer during the summer, including the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, John Hancock Center, Navy Pier, and the Magnificent Mile.

Happening Now

  • To mark PEN International’s centennial, Words Without Borders has published a sampler of works by writers committed to freedom of expression. Algerian novelist and scholar Med MAGANI is among them.

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

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