Banipal 64 – A Rebel named Hanan al-Shaykh features the Lebanese, now London-based author whose spirit of rebellion has stayed with her, enriching the Arab literary scene since her first works as a teenager in Beirut. The issue opens with poems by the late Lebanese poet Bassam Hajjar, now read widely by young Arab poets who find him “pioneering and inspirational”. A second poet is Iraqi Adnan Mohsen with poems of “the ordinary, the familiar and the quotidian”. Three fiction writers, from Syria, Morocco and Tunisia explore their respective country’s dilemmas: Damascus-based Khalil Sweileh’s narrator in “Remorse Test” is engulfed in a “moveable feast of killings, massacres, mass graves, famines and lethal violence” that upends the way the past is remembered; and two debut novels from two poets – Moroccan Nassima Raoui’s “Teatro Cervantes”, and Tunisian Chafik Targui’s “Lavazza” – create powerful stories deeply embedded in their countries’ recent pasts. Plus poems by Amjad Nasser and Reza Mohammadi from Gingko Library’s forthcoming “A New Divan”. And an extra treat for readers – excerpts from the six shortlisted novels of the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), considered the most important fiction award in the Arab world.