A Focus on ‘Places and Languages that Don’t See Much Movement into English’


I was skeptical when Darf Publishers relaunched “with a focus on Arabic literature in translation” in 2013:

darf1Back in 2013, American University in Cairo Press (AUCP) had been upping their marketing game, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundationg Publishing (BQFP) was about to re-awake from its year and a half of slumber, Dar Safi was soon to launch, and houses like Interlink, Archipelago, Saqi, Syracuse University Press and others continued to bring out strong Arabic literature in translation.

How could their possibly be a place for Darf, the English imprint of the Libyan publishing house Dar Fergiani?

Two years in, there’s nothing flashy to make Darf, run by Managing Director Ghassan Fergiani, stand out. And yet they do stand out, as a house that’s developed a small list of well-chosen, well-translated books, largely from writers who have been excluded from Arabic- and English-literary conversations. These are not writers from centers of Arab publishing like Egypt and Lebanon…

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