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Beirut 39: New Writing from the Arab World

Beirut 39: New Writing from the Arab World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Beirut is the 2009 World Book Capital, as designated by UNESCO, and at the center of the festivities, in collaboration with the world-renowned Hay Festival, is a competition to identify the thirty-nine most promising young talents in Arab literature. The selection of the Beirut 39 follows the success of a similar competition in the 2007 World Book Capital, Bogota, celebrating achievements in Latin American literature. This year, for the first time, the winners--nominated by publishers, literary critics, and readers across the Arab world and internationally, and selected by a panel of eminent Arab writers, academics, and journalists--will be published together in a one-of-a-kind anthology. Edited by Samuel Shimon of Banipal magazine, the collection will be published simultaneously in Arabic and English throughout the world by Bloomsbury and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing. Beirut 39 provides an important look at the Arab-speaking world today, through the eyes of thirty-nine of its brightest young literary stars. Samuel Shimon is the co-founder and deputy editor of Banipal, a highly respected magazine of new Arab writing in English translation. He is also the founder and editor of Kikah, the most popular cultural website in Arabic. His autobiographical novel An Iraqi in Paris was long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Beirut 39 presents the best work of young Arab writers from around the world. Selected by a panel of eminent Arab critics, writers and editors, in a competition sponsored by the Hay Festival, these thirty-nine emerging talents are all under the age of thirty-nine, and hail from sixteen different countries--from Morocco to Oman, from Sudan to the Netherlands and France. Their fiction and poetry collected here represents the vibrancy and diversity of Arab literature today. These thirty-nine arab writers have flung open the doors on arabic culture. The reader touches, feels, hears, tastes and sees the Middle East and North Africa as it realy is. Beirut 39 offers a fresh, often ingenious perspective--a world away from headlines and news stories.--Hanan Al-Shaykh, from the Preface

A well-conceived gathering of poems, short stories and other work by 39 Arab writers under the age of 40. By editor Shimon's account, these writers are part of a 'youthful pan-Arab literary movement' that respects few national boundaries, and that highlights individualism and a yearning for personal freedom. Moreover--and anathema to a purist--these writers 'are not afraid to make grammatical errors. Some purposefully don't finish their sentences, others are fond of slang and street talk and dialect.' In other words, it's a Pushcart of another kind, though without all the establishment figures. Many of the authors are residents of non-Arab countries, especially France, but most set their themes pointedly in Arab concerns. Among the highlights of the collection is a story by Syrian architect-turned-novelist Rosa Yassin Hassan, who depicts a young Darfurian refugee, a victim of torture, being interviewed for political asylum in Canada, one of many such exiles whose 'chances were few, their words for ever sic] doubted.' Palestinian writer Islam Samhan delivers a poem that, as if in response to James Wright's 'A Mad Fight Song for William S. Carpenter', recounts the victim of a bombing: 'He enjoyed the phosphorus toys / that lit up brightly. / He didn't know / that he burnt up like a butterfly / without a sound.' The Dutch-Moroccan writer Abdelkader Benali imagines a young man, presumably much like himself, who has trouble wrapping his brain around the fact that his sister is outdoing him, appreciatively listening to his father mutter, 'Nobody wants to marry a woman who's had too much education. Educated women have loud mouths and opinions of their own.' And Algerian writer Abderrazak Boukebba delivers an odd allegory that enfolds the world of the exile abroad: 'The homeland is not the dust we are born on, but the memory of that dust that accompanies us' . . . T]his is a well-made anthology, of much interest to students of world literature and of the contemporary Arab world.--Kirkus Reviews

This fascinating collection of pieces by 39 young Arab voices from all over the world was put together by the Hay Festival in celebration of Beirut's 2009 selection as World Book Capital. Incorporating stories, poems, and novel excerpts, the enormously varied lineup includes Abdellah Taia's The Wounded Man, about a gay university student in Morocco watching a forbidden French film during Ramadan; an excerpt from Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmad Saadwi, in which a garbage-diver searches for the perfect nose to complete the hybrid body he's assembling; and Haneef from Glasgow by Mohammad Hassan, in which a Kashmiri immigrant is viewed through the eyes of his Saudi employers' son. Nazem El Sayed contributes delightfully compact revelations in his Thirteen Poems; Randa Jarrar takes a tender look at a Palestinian boy in 'The Story of My Building'; Hala Kawtharani explores the Beirut of the 1950s and '60s in 'Lebanon/Switzerland? Beirut/Paris?' . . . I]nvolving and diverse.--Publishers Weekly

CONTENTS

Preface by Hanan al-Skaykh

Judges' Announcement

Introduction by Abdo Wazen

Editor's Note

Abdelaziz Errachidi

from the novel Bedouins on the Edge

Abedelkader Benali

from the novel The Trip to the Slaughterhouse

Abedllah Taia

The Wounded Man

Abederrahim Elkhassar

Amazigh

Abderrazak Boukebba

from the novel Skin of Shadow

Abdullah Thabit

from the novel The Twentieth Terrorist

Adania Shibli

At the Post Office

Ahmad Saadawi

from the novel Frankenstein in Baghdad

Ahmad Yamani

eight poems from The Utopia of Cemeteries

Ala Hlehel

Coexistance

Bassim al Ansar

Three Poems

Dima Wannous

Two Stories

Faiza Guene

Mimouna

Hala Kawtharani

Three Stories

Review:

"This fascinating collection of pieces by 39 young Arab voices from all over the world was put together by the Hay Festival in celebration of Beirut's 2009 selection as World Book Capital. Incorporating stories, poems, and novel excerpts, the enormously varied lineup includes Abdellah Taia's 'The Wounded Man,' about a gay university student in Morocco watching a forbidden French film during Ramadan; an excerpt from Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmad Saadwi, in which a garbage-diver searches for the perfect nose to complete the 'hybrid body' he's assembling; and 'Haneef from Glasgow' by Mohammad Hassan, in which a Kashmiri immigrant is viewed through the eyes of his Saudi employers' son. Nazem El Sayed contributes delightfully compact revelations in his 'Thirteen Poems'; Randa Jarrar takes a tender look at a Palestinian boy in 'The Story of My Building'; Hala Kawtharani explores the Beirut of the 1950s and '60s in 'Lebanon/Switzerland? Beirut/Paris?' Because they are so involving and diverse, readers may be frustrated by the entries' brevity, though anyone working on their to-read list will find plenty of ideas. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Beirut is the 2009 World Book Capital, as designated by UNESCO, and at the center of the festivities, in collaboration with the world-renowned Hay Festival, is a competition to identify the thirty-nine most promising young talents in Arab literature. The selection of the "Beirut 39" follows the success of a similar competition in the 2007 World Book Capital, Bogotá, celebrating achievements in Latin American literature.
This year, for the first time, the winners—nominated by publishers, literary critics, and readers across the Arab world and internationally, and selected by a panel of eminent Arab writers, academics, and journalists—will be published together in a one-of-a-kind anthology. Edited by Samuel Shimon of Banipal magazine, the collection will be published simultaneously in Arabic and English throughout the world by Bloomsbury and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing.
Beirut 39 provides an important look at the Arab-speaking world today, through the eyes of thirty-nine of its brightest young literary stars.

About the Author

Samuel Shimon is the cofounder and deputy editor of Banipal, a highly respected magazine of new Arab writing in English translation. He is also the founder and editor of Kikah, the most popular cultural Web site in Arabic. His autobiographical novel An Iraqi in Paris was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Table of Contents

“A well-conceived gathering of poems, short stories and other work by 39 Arab writers under the age of 40.”Kirkus Reviews

“This fascinating collection of pieces by 39 young Arab voices from all over the world was put together by the Hay Festival in celebration of Beiruts 2009 selection as World Book Capital … anyone working on their to-read list will find plenty of ideas.”Publishers Weekly

“This collection will appeal to literature lovers and anyone interested in understanding Arab culture.”Library Journal

“The best of these works frequently underscore darker moments, running the gamut from a bombing and a book-burning to schoolyard bullying, but do so without criticizing the characters nor the conditions of the societies which shaped them. Read together, a sense of restlessnessof migrations from village to city, from childhood to adulthood, from living with hesitation to gradually accepting fateemerges. These stories dig at human fallibilities with imaginative risks."Karen Rigby, BookBrowse.com 

Product Details

ISBN:
9781608192021
Subtitle:
New Writing from the Arab World
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Preface by:
Al-Shaykh, Hanan
Preface:
Al-Shaykh, Hanan
Introduction:
Maalouf, Amin
Introduction:
Ben Jelloun, Tahar
Editor:
Shimon, Samuel
Author:
Ben Jelloun, Tahar
Author:
Jelloun, Tahar Ben
Author:
Shimon, Samuel
Author:
Ben, Tahar
Author:
Maalouf, Amin
Subject:
Middle Eastern
Subject:
African
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20100608
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.29 x 5.46 x 0.885 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » International
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Middle Eastern Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Middle East

Beirut 39: New Writing from the Arab World
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$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781608192021 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This fascinating collection of pieces by 39 young Arab voices from all over the world was put together by the Hay Festival in celebration of Beirut's 2009 selection as World Book Capital. Incorporating stories, poems, and novel excerpts, the enormously varied lineup includes Abdellah Taia's 'The Wounded Man,' about a gay university student in Morocco watching a forbidden French film during Ramadan; an excerpt from Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmad Saadwi, in which a garbage-diver searches for the perfect nose to complete the 'hybrid body' he's assembling; and 'Haneef from Glasgow' by Mohammad Hassan, in which a Kashmiri immigrant is viewed through the eyes of his Saudi employers' son. Nazem El Sayed contributes delightfully compact revelations in his 'Thirteen Poems'; Randa Jarrar takes a tender look at a Palestinian boy in 'The Story of My Building'; Hala Kawtharani explores the Beirut of the 1950s and '60s in 'Lebanon/Switzerland? Beirut/Paris?' Because they are so involving and diverse, readers may be frustrated by the entries' brevity, though anyone working on their to-read list will find plenty of ideas. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
Beirut is the 2009 World Book Capital, as designated by UNESCO, and at the center of the festivities, in collaboration with the world-renowned Hay Festival, is a competition to identify the thirty-nine most promising young talents in Arab literature. The selection of the "Beirut 39" follows the success of a similar competition in the 2007 World Book Capital, Bogotá, celebrating achievements in Latin American literature.
This year, for the first time, the winners—nominated by publishers, literary critics, and readers across the Arab world and internationally, and selected by a panel of eminent Arab writers, academics, and journalists—will be published together in a one-of-a-kind anthology. Edited by Samuel Shimon of Banipal magazine, the collection will be published simultaneously in Arabic and English throughout the world by Bloomsbury and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing.
Beirut 39 provides an important look at the Arab-speaking world today, through the eyes of thirty-nine of its brightest young literary stars.
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