Sinful Bookmarks and Western Prejudice


What is it like, in post-Tahrir Cairo, to run a bookstore or a publishing house? What is it like to be a reader or a writer?

For Poets & Writers, Stephen Morison, Jr., writes about the Egyptian revolution from a literary angle.

“A critic last Monday said he wanted to kill himself [after reading my latest novel]. He asked, ‘Why is it so depressing?’” the writer says while sipping his tea and smoking a Pharaoh-brand cigarette. “He said that I am a good writer, but in this book, I made the art dirty. He said I have to respect the religion more than this.”

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →