Foreign Policy Blogs

Tablet and Pen Book Tour

Tablet and Pen by Reza Aslan
Tablet and Pen edited by Reza Aslan

For anyone who is interested, Reza Aslan, who wrote “Beyond Fundamentalism” which I wrote about in my last entry, is currently on tour for his new book “Tablet and Pen.” He will be in Washington, DC tomorrow (Thursday November 11th) and in New York City from November 15th through 18th.

Click here for the complete tour schedule.

Here is the Publisher’s Weekly review:

This mammoth anthology goes a long way toward achieving its equally mammoth goal: to shift American views of the Middle East away “from the ubiquitous images of terrorists and fanatics.” With selections covering the past 100 years and from countries as diverse as Iran, Turkey, Morocco, and Pakistan, the book presents a progression from largely premodern tales through mid-century post-colonialism to a contemporary globalized Islam and Middle East. Despite the panoramic view and the dazzling array of writers, it all hangs together exceedingly well, and the carefully conceived scaffolding is in service of some extraordinary literature. Jalal Al-e Ahmad’s “Gharbzadegi” (roughly translated as “Westoxification”), a passionate call for Arabs to stop aping the West, could give today’s pundit class several lessons in wit and rhetoric. The outstanding excerpt from Sadegh Hedayat’s The Blind Owl should get the neglected translation some new readers. These prose pieces are met by equally accomplished poetry that ranges from the ranks of titans Adonis and Mahmoud Darwish to a host of lesser-knowns plying a range of styles and subjects. An impressive success that spans vast regions of time and territory, this is that rare anthology: cohesive, affecting, and informing.