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Banipal 36 – Literature in Yemen Today

Banipal 36 – Literature in Yemen Today

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Banipal 36 – Literature in Yemen today is published just as this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair begins, and not long after the Berlin International Literature Festival, which had its international focus on the Arab world – an ideal time to introduce the rich and diverse fiction and poetry that is being written in Yemen.

This major feature (160 pages) presents a rich selection of novel excerpts, short stories and poetry from 17 of today’s Yemeni authors, most of whose work has never before been translated into English. Many are well-known in Yemen and the Arab world, and some are now regularly invited to European festivals; they include Nadia Alkowkobani, Ali al-Muqri and Wajdi al-Ahdal, Abdel Aziz al-Maqalih, Huda Ablan, Shawqi Shafiq and many more. There is no holding back on any subject matter in either fiction or poetry – the family, love, taboos, customs and superstitions, being a woman, coming to terms with the country’s history, life in Yemen today, the sky and the sea, myths and legends, dreams and nightmares, individual guilt, responsibility and atonement – a full and fascinating panorama of human life and society. Produced in collaboration with the Yemen Book Shop and its managing director Nashwan Ali Al-Maghafi, the 2008 Young Publishing Entrepreneur of the Year.

“Europe is no longer a place of exile or refuge for the Arab intellectual and writer. It is his publishing house, his reader, his pavement or sidewalk, his pulpit, his bookstore, and his city”, writes Lebanese writer and journalist Youssef Bazzi in the Editorial, as he explains the new and “extraordinary relationship between Arab literature and the European reader”.

Banipal 36 – Literature in Yemen Today also includes:

• Excerpts from Lebanese author Alawiyya Sobh’s acclaimed new novel in which a middle-age woman takes a hard look at her love life and her present situation.
• Short stories from renowned Egyptian author Yayha Taher Abdullah.
• Photos and report from the Berlin international literature festival and its magnificent Focus Arab World in which more than 30 Arab authors participated.
• Beirut39 – judges meet to decide on the final list of the 39 best Arab authors aged 39 and under, out of an initial list of over 400.