692. Ahmed Naji

   

Ahmed Naji is the guest. He is the author of three novels, including Using Life (University of Texas Press), which led to his imprisonment in Egypt—and then led to the writing of a new memoir, Rotten Evidence: Reading and Writing in Prisoncurrently excerpted in The Believer magazine.

In 2016, Naji was sentenced to 2 years in prison after a reader complained that an excerpt of Using Life published in a literary journal harmed public morality. His imprisonment marked the first time in modern Egypt that an author has been jailed for a work of literature. Writers and literary organizations around the world rallied to support Naji, and he was released in December 2016. His original conviction was overturned in May 2017.

His other books include the novels Rogers and And Tigers to My Room.

Throughout his career, he has won several prizes, including the 2016 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award.

He is now a fellow at the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas, where he lives with his small family.

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