St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature are delighted to announce that the Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship 2017 has been awarded to Ali Bader, a well-known Iraqi novelist and essayist, whose work is making an important contribution to contemporary Arabic literature. He is the author of thirteen works of fiction, two of which were long-listed for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and several works of non-fiction. His best-known novels include Papa Sartre and The Tobacco Keeper (both published also in English translation)
Three authors from the issue: Nouri A-Jarrah reads and discusses his dramatic poem A Boat to Lesbos, with a feast of images and Greek choruses of spoken voice in an elegy to all those forced to flee Syria by sea; performance poet Charlotte Van den Broeck, a household name in her native Belgium and a contributor to Guest Literature from Flanders, performs poems from her debut collection Chameleon with English translations by Astrid Alben; and Muhsin al-Ramli with his novel, The President’s Gardens (being published in English translation by Maclehose Press), unfurls the terror and tragedy at the heart of Iraq’s recent history.
Khaled Khalifa writes about his native city with sensuality and an almost feral intensity in his new novel, “No Knives in the Kitchens of This City.” The book focuses on just one family, and it stops several years short of the Syrian civil war. But it offers a glimpse into how terrified and empty of hope the people of a city must be to rise up in revolt. The future offers them nothing. It is a castle of closed doors.
Banipal’s core mission is to bring readers gems, in translation, from the wealth of creative writing being produced across the Arab world today. Banipal 57 – Syria in the Heart brings you twelve Syrian authors, and in addition, two from Palestine and Iraq. The focus on Arab literary modernism and its pioneers has been postponed on account of this most urgent subject of the future of Syria.
St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature, with the support of the British Council, are establishing an annual writing fellowship for a published author writing in Arabic, based each year at St Aidan’s College. The Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship will be a three-month residency
Banipal 56’s main feature is Generation ’56, presenting a number of influential Arab literators, all born in 1956, and all of whom grew up to become major beacons of modernity, intellectual freedom and creativity, and cultural initiatives, while the year itself is remembered above all for the Suez Canal crisis and the invasion by Israel, Britain and France known as the Tripartite
There is a trend in contemporary Arab literature to create a form or type of work that could be termed biographical or autobiographical, which combines actual history with contemporary or imagined characters (which is nothing out of the ordinary), but in the hands of these authors this then allows them to develop a thoroughly creative and original analysis
Tareq Bakari, Rabai al-Madhoun, Mohamed Rabie, Mahmoud Shukair, Shahla Ujayli and George Yaraq have today, Tuesday 9 February, been announced as the six authors...
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