by Katy TerBerg
The talent among the faculty and staff at WMU is one of the many things in which WMU takes great pride. This is especially the case with Spanish professor Hedy Habra, who recently published two books: “Flying Carpets,” a collection of short stories (March Street Press), and “Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa” (Alternate and Artistic Worlds in Vargas Llosa) (forthcoming) an academic book focusing on the novels of the Peruvian writer, Mario Vargas Llosa, a recipient of the 2010 Nobel prize.
“Flying Carpets” consists of 21 short stories that were inspired by her childhood in Egypt and Lebanon. According to the Press Release posted by the online literary journal, The SOP, “Flying Carpets” is the culmination of twenty years of work, and some of the stories “evoke the fascination with divination powers, a woman’s resistance to a controlling husband, and a nanny who relies on her imagination for survival.” Noted writer and critic, Stuart Dybek said about Flying Carpets: “It belongs to that rare tradition of books whose spells grow increasingly seductive with each new story.”
Habra’s second book, “Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa,” “explores the function of characters’ interiority and the way Vargas Llosa uses the linguistic sign to create images or to reproduce visual art (paintings, photographs) by means of the characters’ fantasies or musings, which, in turn, convert them into fictional authors and at times into producers of sort films,” said Habra.
Habra had three poems selected among ten winners of the Fourth Annual Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival, named after the famed Turkish poet. This year, the competition received over 700 poems from 250 poets across the globe.The poems were published in a chapbook.
Habra lived in Egypt, Lebanon, Greece and Belgium before moving to Kalamazoo, MI. She holds an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from WMU and currently teaches Spanish. Her poetry, published in English, Spanish and French, has appeared in various journals and anthologies.