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“Banipal is a valuable gift because it brings the wealth and diversity of Arabic literature to the anglophone world.”  Joachim Sartorius

Banipal 61 – A Journey in Iraqi Fiction

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis have created a revolution in literature, writing nearly 600 novels. Banipal’s first issue of 2018 focuses on this unexpected journey in Iraqi fiction with articles and chapters from selected novels. The reader is taken deep into different periods of Iraq life over the last 50-odd years, from the beginnings of local communities struggling against the increasingly violent dictatorship where punishment was death, to the disintegration of Iraqi society on all levels after 2003 and on into the next decade. There is also an interesting modern take on well-known historical figures, and a tale of intriguing Friday nightlife in a southern Iraqi city. Plus two poets, from Morocco and Libya, and the 2018 Shortlisted novels of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, featuring authors from Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Iraq.

For the contents page, click here

For a digital subscription, click here   For a print subscription, click here


Anouncing the publication of:

A Boat to Lesbos


Nouri Al-Jarrah

Front Cover of A Boat to Lesbos by Nouri Al-Jarrah      Nouri Al-Jarrah

A Boat to Lesbos and other poems is the first collection in English translation for Syrian poet Nouri Al-Jarrah.  A powerful epic poem, it was written while thousands of Syrian refugees were enduring frightening journeys across the Mediterranean before arriving on the small island. Set out like a Greek tragedy, it is passionate and dramatic witness to the horrors and ravages suffered by Syrian families forced to flee their destroyed country, seen through the eye of history, the poetry of Sappho and the travels of Odysseus. The poems have been translated from the Arabic by Camilo Gómez-Rivas and Allison Blecker.

For more details and to buy a copy, click HERE


Saif Ghobash Banipal Arabic Literary Prize logo

ROBIN MOGER wins the 2017 Prize

Robin Moger  The Book of Safety by Yasser Abdel Hafez, translated by Robin Moger

"An alluring translation that captures beautifully the nuances of the Arabic original"

The 2017 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation is awarded to Robin Moger for his translation of the novel The Book of Safety by Yasser Abdel Hafez, published by Hoopoe Fiction. After four novels made the first shortlist of the prize, announced on 1 December 2017, the judges are unanimous in naming Robin Moger as the winner of the £3,000 prize, to be awarded by the Society of Authors on 1 March 2018.  

The four-member judging panel comprised the writer and literary figure Dr Alastair Niven (Chair), author and editor Peter Kalu, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS Wen-chin Ouyang, and poet and journalist Salam Sarhan.


Complete Digital Archive of Banipal
magazine from No 1, February 1998

Banipal digital covers issues 1 and 2

On 30 January 2017, almost exactly nineteen years after that day in February 1998 when Banipal No 1 was published, the complete digital archive of Banipal issues went live. Banipal's Publisher and Editor-at-large Margaret Obank said: “I am over the moon that we are partnering with Exact Editions to launch the digital archive. The print copies are beautiful in themselves and full of gems, but less and less accessible, so this complete digital archive, with its splendid quality of reproduction, is the way to ensure these literary riches are permanently available to the new generations of readers. It is a brilliant start to Banipal’s 20th year of publication.”

All digital subscribers will have unlimited free access via our digital partner Exact Editions to this unique archive for the duration of their subscriptions. For our full announcement of the digital archive launch click here




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Banipal No 1, Feb 1998 goes Digital
Clicking on the image opens the Free Digital Trial (Banipal 53)

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Mahmoud Shukair, shortlisted
for the 2016 IPAF, has these short stories in English translation
Mahmoud Shukair's short stories published by Banipal Books

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