CONTEMPORARY ARAB LITERATURE: HIGHLIGHTS AT SHUBBAK FESTIVAL
Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP) is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Shubbak Festival - a window on contemporary Arab culture - taking place in London on 11 -26 July.
The literary portion of Shubbak will include author talks and discussions with four of BQFP’s published authors, covering a range of relevant topics in the world of Arab literature – from the rise of Arabic literature in English to the conceptualizing of a futuristic Middle East through science fiction. The authors and their most recent works are:
Atef Abu Saif
Arabic original of A Suspended Life, shortlisted for IPAF 2015
A Suspended Life by Atef Abu Saif
To be published by BQFP in July 2016
Event: Hot Off the Press
Venue: The British Library, Saturday 25 July 4:30pm
Written originally in Arabic, A Suspended Life was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF 2915).
Atef Abu Saif was born in Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, the eldest of 14 children. He still lives in Gaza, where he teaches Political Science at the University of Al-Azhar. His writing has been published in the New York Times and the Guardian.
Men Don’t Cry by Faïza Guène
To be published by BQFP in August 2016
Event: Arabic Europe
Venue: The British Library, Sunday 26 July 12:30pm
Faïza Guène is a French writer and director. Born in Bobigny, France in 1985 to parents of Algerian origin she is best known for her two novels, Kiffe kiffe demain and Du rêve pour les oufs. She has also directed several short films, including Rien que des mots (2004).
Men Don't Cry is translated by Sarah Ardizzone from the French original, Un homme, ça ne pleure pas. The novel's central character Mourad was born in Nice to Algerian parents, and would like to forge his own destiny. His biggest nightmare: to become an obese old man with greying hair, nurtured only by his mother’s deep-fried cooking. To prevent this, he will have to reject his heavy family history. But is it really through cutting off that we can fully become ourselves?
Out of It by Selma Dabbagh
Event: The Rise of Arabic Literature in English?
Venue: The British Library, Saturday 25 July 11am
Published by BQFP in 2012
The writing is both literary and accessible, fast-paced, passionate, exuberant and heart-lurching. We'll be hearing much more from Selma Dabbagh’ - Guardian
Out of It follows two Gazans, Rashid and Iman, as they try to forge places for themselves in the midst of occupation, religious fundamentalism and the divisions between Palestinian factions. Selma Dabbagh is a British-Palestinian writer based in London. Her short stories have been nominated for the International PEN David TK Wong Award and the Pushcart Prize.
Dr Ahmed Khaled Towfik
Utopia by Dr Ahmed Khaled Towfik
Event: Science Fiction in the Arab World
Venue: The British Library, Saturday 25 July 12.30pm
Published by BQFP in 2011 ‘Towfik paints a vivid picture of Egypt in 2023... a disturbing dystopic vision.’ – Guardian
Ahmed Khaled Towfik was born in 1962 and is the Arab world's most prominent bestselling author of fantasy and horror genres. A medical professor at Egypt's Tanta University, he has written over 200 books.
A futuristic account of Egyptian society in the year 2023, Utopia takes readers on a chilling journey, beyond the gated communities of the North Coast where the wealthy are insulated from the bleakness of life outside the walls. When a young man and a girl break out from this bubble of affluence, they are confronted by a world that they had not imagined possible.