Jose Saramago has started a blog. It's in Portuguese, so if you speak the language it looks like a great way to get the inside scoop on a Nobel Laureate's writing process, particularly as Fernando Mereilles' film adaptation of Saramago's Blindness is released.
Saramago will be welcomed to the litblogging community by writers Ghada Abdel Aal, Marwa Rakha, and Rajaa Alsanea, who are part of a new trend in the Middle East for gossip-girl novels based on blogs. These women writers have successfully used the internet as a forum in which to speak about the inner lives of Arabic women, to dispense advice about marriage, men and education, and have found a following for their work. Where Rakha is a sharp, secular critic, Alsanea writes about balancing halal behaviour and belief with the desire to be an emancipated, educated woman. All three point to the hypocrisies and double standards exploited by men in their societies -- but their powerful critiques are delicately layered inside what seems like Sex and the City fluff.
Perhaps these aren't novels that might win a Nobel prize for Literature, but can the time be far off when a blook wins one of the major literary awards?
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