L to R: back - Alexandra Pringle, Hanan Al-Shaykh; front - Andy Smart, Nigel Newton
The third Bloomsbury Qatar Literary Salon - which featured Lebanese novelist, short story writers and dramatist Hanan Al-Shaykh - held at the House of St Barnabus at 1 Greek Street in Soho, central London.As at the inaugural meeting of the salon held in the same venue on 30th July, at which the guest interviewee was Egyptian-British novelist Ahdaf Soueif, the interviewer was Peter Florence, director of the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts.
The salon was established by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP),which was launched at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair as a partnership between Bloomsbury Publishing and the Qatar Foundation.
The evening was introduced by Bloomsbury founder and chief executive Nigel Newton. BQFP's consultant publisher Andy Smith then surprised the audience by giving a welcoming address in Arabic. Bloomsbury's editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle, one of the legends of British publishing (her career started at women's publisher Virago in 1978), was also present.
The second salon was held in Doha on 9th September at the BQFP villa at Education City. It took the form of an iftar and a reading by local Arabic poets.
[more to follow...]