The Threshold: Poems

(Author) (Translator)
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.75 X 8.44 X 0.61 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author
Iman Mersal is the author of several books of poems and a collection of essays, How to Mend: Motherhood and Its Ghosts. In English translation, her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, and other publications. Her prose work, Traces of Enayat, received the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature in 2021. She is a professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of Alberta, Canada. Robyn Creswell teaches comparative literature at Yale University and is a consulting editor for poetry at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is the author of City of Beginnings: Poetic Modernism in Beirut and contributes regularly to The New York Review of Books.

Mersal's poems are many things--sensuous, cerebral, intimate, angry and disorientating. They provide food for thought and elicit laughter in the dark . . . [The Threshold is] a perfect entry point for readers new to her work. --Malcolm Forbes, The National

Ravishing . . . Mersal's poems read like short stories; they are spare but resonant, full of charming misfits, and governed by chance. --Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, 4Columns

In a voice both fluid and laser-focused, fierce and tenuous, unflinching and vulnerable, [Mersal] hews a path that is post-Arab-modernist, unsettling certainties about the ground from which an individual sees and speaks . . . The individual poems, and the collection itself, reflect Mersal's compassionate and ruthless exploration of a complicated journey through contemporary history and troubled geographies. --Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr., Book Page

"The publication of Iman Mersal's The Threshold is a major literary event. Long recognized throughout the Arab world and in Europe, Mersal is one of the strongest confessional (or postconfessional) poets we now have, in any language: her poems are fueled by a mordant wit, sensual vibrancy, and feminist brio. Impatient with pieties--whether political, erotic, or poetic--she writes, like Louise Glück, with emotional intensity and analytic coolness. This is poetry of earned and perfect pitch: the notations of an impassioned mind. I read The Threshold straight through; it will become a permanent companion." --Maureen N. McLane, author of More Anon

"Undeceived, ironic, daring, Iman Mersal's poems are animated by a singular sensibility. They deal candidly with real life--migration, dying parents, emotional entanglements--and discover general truths among the fine particulars. Robyn Creswell's translation is deft and subtle, and the Anglophone world is lucky to have it." --Nick Laird, author of Feel Free