Editorial: hidden things

As the days are getting shorter, we investigate things that are tucked away in dark corners of the brain – or the national consciousness. Things that are known but not spoken of, relegated to the private sphere (or the more obscure corners of the internet). In this issue of PEN Transmissions, we explore all manner of hidden things with Elias Khoury, Livia Franchini, Guy Gunaratne, Ahmed Saadawi and Jonathan Wright.

Guy Gunaratne thinks about the connection between terrorism, incels and the performance of violent masculinity

Livia Franchini reflects on the impact being bilingual and going ‘back and forth between two distinct, self-sufficient identities of home’ has had on her private and public selves.

We were thrilled to speak to not one, but two great authors for this issue – and even better, to a translator, too!

The great Lebanese writer Elias Khoury is back with a new novel, My Name Is Adam, the story of a man who decides to investigate what happened in 1948 in Palestine in the city of Lydda where he was born. We spoke to him about the fascinating genesis of the book.

And finally, we spoke to Ahmed Saadawi and Jonathan Wright about Frankenstein in Baghdad: the novel’s success, its religious elements and truth in storytelling.

From private selves to male subcultures, from undead monsters to collective trauma, we hope you enjoy this issue of PEN Transmissions.