I have a new Arabic teacher. And he speaks no English, which is fantastic for me. That means all of our communication is in Arabic. When we talk on the phone to schedule classes, we must do it in Arabic. Still progressing slowly but I really like this new wrinkle. It pushes me.
Plus, he is a really literary guy. He brought in an anthology of Arabic translations of 20th Century American short stories to show me. It is fun to read the names in the table of contents, because they are all phonetic spellings so I can figure them out without being limited by my vocabulary. Always interesting for me to learn who and what is translated: Hemingway, Faulkner, Nabokov, Jen, Oates, Barthelme, Porter, Cheever, Munro. There was one African-American writer represented—Jean Toomer with “Blood-Burning Moon.” It would not have been my first guess, but pretty cool.