“The most open, daring, democratic and attentive magazine of modern Arabic literature” – Anton Shammas
Marrakech is a city of narration, and Banipal 48 presents enthralling voices from the “kingdom of the improbable, one where reality is creatively rewritten”, as Juan Goytisolo describes the city in his introduction to Marrakech: Open Secrets, the first text of the feature. We invite readers to partake in many sublime moments of the real and seemingly unreal through the writings of poets and authors from Marrakech: Yassin Adnan and Saad Sarhan, the authors of Marrakech, Open Secrets, which has been translated especially for this issue; the painter novelist Mahi Binebine, who never fails to captivate, and his new novel The Lord will reward you; Abu Youssef Taha brings a couple of black tales with a twist; Rajae Benchemsi writes of Bahia, the henna painter, and describes Marrakech as “a cosmic uterus”; Mohamed Nedali’s fascinating debut novel Prime Cuts: An Apprentice Butcher’s Life & Loves will at last be published in English; Anis Arafai gives readers three alternative short stories while Taha Adnan presents three scenarios on the lure of the East and “the winds of Westernization”.
Banipal 48 also includes works by two more Moroccan authors, poets making waves – the well-known Mubarak Wassat, and newcomer Karima Nadir, writing about the coastal city of Casablanca.
The Literary Influences essay by Egyptian author Mansoura Ez-Eldin admirably complements Narrating Marrakech as she explains how she was lured by her grandmother’s storytelling to learn “to swim in the trackless spaces of fantasy”. A second Egyptian author is Ezzat El-Kamhawi, with an excerpt from his award-winning novel The House of El-Deeb. Also, two Iraqi novelists – Duna Ghali, settled in Denmark and writing in Arabic, in this excerpt, set in Baghdad 2006, of a family that becomes unhinged, disintegrating through being victims of war trauma, and Pius Alibek from Barcelona, writing in Catalan, this excerpt from his novel Nomad Roots recalling an Iraqi soldier’s struggle to exist in the southern desert.
Plus photo-features on the Berlin International Literature Festival and the Frankfurt Book Fair.
For full list of contents and links to contributors’ pages, go to current issue page
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Egyptian 'poet of the people' Ahmed Fouad Negm has died aged 84[read more]
12 November: Banipal 48 – Narrating Marrakech is launched in London's Kensington Central Library[read more]
Meet Ramsey Nasr on 5th November at the Dutch Centre[read more]
Short Stories from the Arab World[read more]
The Saison Poetry Library 60th birthday Celebration on 29th October[read more]
Selected poems from Banipal issues for National Poetry Day[read more]
[read all news stories]