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Banipal No. 58
Banipal 58, Arab Literary Awards

Banipal 58 – Arab Literary Awards starts our 20th year of publication with a timely title feature on Arab Literary Awards in which publishers, critics, authors, and literary journalists write about the impact of the increasing number of these awards on encouraging reading, on creative writing and on the literary scene. Also included in this Spring issue are excerpts from the six shortlisted novels of the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (its 10th year of awards) before its award on 25 April. An interview with Egyptian author Alaa Khaled from Alexandria opens the issue, along with a chapter from his autobiograpical first novel. Plus fiction by Nobel laureatre Naguib Mahfouz, Muhammad Khudayyir, Shahla Ujayli and Elias Farkouh; an essay by Ashur Etwebi on the ideas and works of cover artist Yahya al-Sheikh; and Literary Influences essay by Iraqi author Mahmoud Saeed.

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Banipal No. 57
Banipal 57, Syria in the Heart

In the midst of the raging, destructive war that is shattering Syria, Banipal 57 – Syria in the Heart presents powerful new poetry and fiction by twelve Syrian authors – works that reach out to all with contemplation and compassion, with the need to tell the story and the search to understand. The authors are Nouri al-Jarrah, Rosa Yassin Hassan, Rasha Omran, Dima Wannous, Hala Mohammad, Maha Hassan and Khaled Khalifa, plus new in English translation Haitham Hussein, Monir Almajid, Fawaz Kaderi, Nada Menzalji and Mohamad Alaaedin Abdul Moula. Plus works by Palestinian author Liana Badr and Iraqi novelist Muhsin al-Ramli, and a 50-page guest feature on Literature from Flanders.

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Banipal No. 56
Banipal 56, Generation '56 (Summer 2016)

In the midst of utter turmoil, particularly in the Arab world and in Europe as ISIS/Daesh lashes out with its murderous, anarchic suicide bombs – a dinosaur in its death throes, teeth and tail thrashing randomly – leaving mourning, outrage and sorrow a daily experience, and as UK's disastrous Brexit referendum result begins to hit home, Banipal's mission is ever more to the point: to bring worlds together through literature, to initiate intercultural dialogue between the Arab world and other cultures, to make the world a better, more understanding and tolerant place. Banipal 56 – Generation ’56 features nine influential Arab voices, all born in 1956, all of whom grew up to become major beacons of modernity, intellectual freedom and creativity in the Arab world: Ziad Rahbani, Hassan Yaghi, Nouri Al-Jarrah, Khalid Al-Maaly, Saif al-Rahbi, Maia Tabet, Habib Abdulrab Sarori, Amin Zaoui and Samuel Shimon. Plus a continuation of the Sudanese literature file with authors including Tayeb Salih and Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin, also works from poet filmmakers Ahmed Al-Mulla and Safaa Fathy and fiction writers Raouf Kobeissi and Rashad Abu Shawar.

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Banipal No. 55
Banipal 55, Sudanese Literature Today

Banipal starts our nineteenth year of publication with a sharp eye on the essential character of the contemporary Arab literary scene. In recent years Sudanese writers have been crowding onto the Arab literary scene. However, apart from the great Sudanese author Tayeb Saleh, well known for his classic novel Season of Migration to the North, there have been few translations into English. Banipal 55 showcases new waves of exciting writers, including Hammour Ziada, Ahmad Al Malik, Hamed El-Nazir, Emad Blake, Najlaa Osman Eltom, Mansour El Souwaim, Stella Gaitano, Mohammad Jamil Ahmad, Rania Mamoun, Tarek Eltayeb, Abdel Ghani Karamallah, Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin, Amir Tag Elsir, and more.

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Banipal No. 54
Banipal 54, ECHOES (Autumn/Winter 2015)

Banipal 54, the last issue of 2015, is a grand panoply of Arab literature in which history, memory and real life reverberate against each other and sing to each other new songs – by authors from Palestine, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq and Libya. A feature on leading Iraqi playwright and director Jawad al-Assadi includes his play Baghdadi Bathhouse, and the Guest Literature section from the Berlin Festival on “The Future of Cities” features Roddy Doyle, Rawi Hage, Perihan Magden and Boualem Sansal.

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Banipal No. 53
Banipal 53, The Short Stories of Zakaria Tamer (2015)

With The Short Stories of Zakaria Tamer Banipal presents the most comprehensive feature it has ever published on a single author.  The Syrian short story writer’s contribution to contemporary Arabic literature cannot be underestimated. In his language, his style, his topics and above all his satire and black humour, his writings refute every stereotype held about the Arab world in the west.

Translators of his works into German, Turkish, Serbian, Sardinian and English, fellow Arab authors and critics join us in saluting ZAKARIA TAMER, who through his inspiring and inimitable writings has pursued freedom of expression, human rights and liberty for almost 60 years, with 29 new translations of stories including 13 especially illustrated children’s stories, many articles on his works, reviews and a major interview.

Plus new novels by Iraqi authors Ali Bader and Shakir Noori and poems by Lebanese poets Charbel Dagher and Jawdat Fakhreddine

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Banipal No. 52
Banipal 52, New Fiction (2015)

This issue presents a range of new fiction works, all translated from Arabic, whose authors hail from Egypt, Yemen, Oman, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan and include excerpts from the 2015 shortlist of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. The book reviews include novels ranging from The Book of Khalid, by Ameen Rihani, first published in 1911, to Saud Alsanousi’s The Bamboo Stalk and Youssef Rakha’s The Crocodiles. The feature on “Prison Writing”, started in Banipal 50, continues with two new and powerful testimonies, and will remain open indefinitely for more contributions.

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Banipal No. 51
Banipal 51, Celebrating Saadi Youssef (2014)

Banipal 51 celebrates the great Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef in his 80th year. In this feature, Banipal puts a spotlight on the life, works and huge influence on modern Arabic poetry of this renowned poet, presenting new poems in translation, essays and tributes in celebration of the extraordinary poetic achievements of Saadi Youssef (born 1934, Basra).

Banipal 51 continues the Guest Literature section with six very different fiction writers from the Netherlands. The issue also includes a chapter from then forthcoming novel in translation, The Book of the Sultan’s Seal of Egyptian author Youssef Rakha, and an excerpt from a novel by the Omani author Ghalya Al Said. Plus poems by that poetic wordsmith in French, the late Moroccan poet Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, many book reviews and a photo report of Banipal's latest outreach events in Japan.

The front cover portrait of Saadi Youssef is by Iraqi artist Mansour Mansour

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Banipal No. 50
Banipal 50, Prison Writing (2014)

Banipal 50's feature on Prison Writing is timely and thought-provoking. We are proud that the 50th issue of Banipal is celebrated with thought-provoking testimonies and texts by some of the most renowned and respected of Arab authors from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Syria, authors who have never stopped defending the right to free expression, tolerance and social justice. Their struggles continue today, and are ever more needed, ever more vindicated in this strange world we live in, where religious fundamentalists and bigots of all persuasions are in ascendance, dictatorships and unelected bureaucracies are still in control, and whistleblowers defending basic human rights are on the run.

Banipal’s work over the last 17 years has been to be witness to the living literary scene in the Arab world, commissioning translations of newly published works to bring to the Anglophone world the richness and variety ever present in today’s Arab literary landscape.

This massive work of 50 issues has been produced by a small, dedicated team, backed by a brilliant army of translators, consulting and contributing editors, reviewers . . . and of course, all the authors. We salute them all.

Cover painting by the New York based Iraqi painter Ahmed Alsoudani

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Banipal No. 49
Banipal 49, A Cornucopia of Short Stories (2014)

"I thoroughly enjoyed Issue #49 - what a wonderful collection of stories you gathered, and the snippets of the IPAF shortlisted books were an additional treat." – Elisabeth Jaquette

A Cornucopia of Short Stories
presents a rich collection of a traditional art – stories by 21 authors in a range of styles from all generations of short story writers – from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Jordan; from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia; and from Yemen, Oman and Kuwait. From pioneers Zakaria Tamer, Mahmoud Shukair, Ibrahim Aslan, Said al-Kafrawi and Ahmed Bouzfour, to relative newcomers Jokha al-Harth, Ahmed Saadawi, Huzama Habayeb, Basma El-Khatib, Ibrahim Farghali and Nasrin Trabulsi.

PLUS – A Travelling Tale from Moscow by Kamal Ayadi
• AND Poetry from Arabic, German & English: Kadhim Jihad Hassan from Iraq, Fouad El-Auwad from Syria and Mona Kareem from Kuwait
• AND 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction – Excerpts from the 6 shortlisted novels
• Guest Literature: British poet, editor and translator Stephen Watts

Cover painting by Iraqi painter Ahmed Alsoudani

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Banipal No. 48
Banipal 48, Narrating Marrakech (2013)

Banipal 48 presents enthralling voices from Marrakech, city of narration, “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. The poets and authors from Marrakech include Yassin Adnan and Saad Sarhan, the authors of Marrakech, Open Secrets, translated especially for this issue; the painter novelist Mahi Binebine, with his new novel The Lord will reward you; Abu Youssef Taha; Rajae Benchemsi; Mohamed Nedali with his debut novel Prime Cuts: An Apprentice Butcher’s Life & Loves; Anis Arafai and Taha Adnan. Banipal 48 also includes works by two Moroccan poets – Mubarak Wassat and Karima Nadir.

Plus Literary Influences by Mansoura Ez-Eldin and an excerpt from Ezzat El-Kamhawi's award-winning novel The House of the Wolf. Also, two Iraqi novelists – Duna Ghali, settled in Denmark and writing in Arabic, and Pius Alibek from Barcelona, writing in Catalan.

Front cover paintings by Farid Belkahia 

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Banipal No. 47
Banipal 47, Fiction from Kuwait (2013)

Fiction from Kuwait presents a selection of contemporary literature from the novels and short stories of 17 Kuwaiti authors. It spans the generations of literary voices, from the 1960s and the writings of Sulaiman al-Shatti, Ismail Fahd Ismail and Suleiman al-Khalifi, to works by Fatima Yousif al-Ali, Laila al-Othman, Waleed al-Rajeeb, Taleb Alrefai, Thuraya al-Baqsami and Fawziya Shuwaish al-Salem, and then to those of young authors Bothayna al-Essa, Saud al-Sanousi, Yousef Khalifa, Basima al-Enezi, Ali Hussain al-Felkawi, Hameady Hamood and Mona al-Shammari. Almost the entire issue is devoted to the vibrant fiction literary scene in Kuwait today, with background articles on the development of both the short story and the novel.

The book reviews include reviews of works by two winners of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction: Saudi Arabian author Abdo Khal’s winning novel Throwing Sparks, and The Mehlis Report by Lebanese novelist Rabee Jaber (his winning novel The Druze of Belgrade has yet to be translated).

Photo-reports of literary achievements complete the issue – the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards, the Abu Dhabi and Casablanca International Book Fairs, the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction award ceremony, and the Shubbak Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture in London.

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Banipal No. 46
Banipal 46, 80 New Poems (2013)

Banipal 46 – 80 New Poems takes the pulse of new poetry with works by 14 poets who reflect the diversity and dynamism in Arab life and society today, most of the poets appearing in Banipal for the first time – Taha Adnan, Fadhil al-Azzawi, Salah Faik, Hussein Habasch, Musa Hawamdeh, Heind R. Ibrahim, Hassab al-Sheikh Ja’far, Vénus Khoury-Ghata, Khaled Mattawa, Philip Metres, Dunya Mikhail, Khaled Najar, Amjad Nasser and Mohamed al-Harthy.

The issue opens with the debut novel of Amjad Nasser, Land of No Rain, and is followed by an excerpt from the first English translation of Faris al-Shidyaq’s 1855 novel Leg over Leg – both texts being published in full later this year, by Bloomsbury Qater Foundation Publishing and Yale University Press respectively.

Lorand Gaspar, who lived and worked in Jerusalem and Tunis for many years and is one of France’s most important contemporary poets, is the issue’s Guest Writer.

Banipal 46 also includes a special section of excerpts from the six shortlisted novels of the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction by Saud Alsanousi, Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Sinan Antoon, Jana Fawaz Elhassan, IBrahim Issa and Hussein al-Wad. PLUS a searing memoir, The Day the Olive Harvest was Stopped, by Palestinian writer Mohammad Khashan.

For full details of contents and links to contributors' pages, click here

Front cover painting by Mahi Binebine

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Banipal No. 45
Banipal 45, Writers from Palestine (2012)

Banipal 45 – Writers from Palestine completes 15 years of continuous publication. Fadhil al-Azzawi writes of how Banipal is a “cultural necessity”, how it “reflects the real achievements in the contemporary literature of Arab authors”, and how it does more than publish literary translations – “In fact, it discovers new voices, highlights great forgotten talents, and presents those who have been marginalized for this or that reason”.

Adonis salutes the magazine’s 15 years, saying that “Banipal has been realizing a unique and twofold project within the sphere of cultural productions of the Arab world”.

Banipal 45 – Writers from Palestine is a doubly special issue, celebrating 15 years and new Palestinian literature. Introducing the feature's 23 authors, Anton Shammas writes of the “very special amalgam of young Palestinian voices, whose writing offers a new and refreshing literary map of that forsaken country, and whose almost unprecedented collective presence realizes a long over due literary dream” and opens up “the English gates for some new waves, some new and young and uncompromising voices from all regions of Palestine”.
Read more . . .
This issue is Out of Print, only available as part of a digital subscription. Click here for an individual digital subscription.

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Banipal No. 44
Banipal 44, 12 Women Writers (2012)

Banipal 44 – 12 Women Writers is a feast of fiction for summer 2012. Huzama Habayeb (Palestine), Leila Aboulela (Sudan), Lina Hawyan al-Hassan and Maha Hassan (Syria), Hawra al-Nadawi (Iraq), Huda al-Jahouri (Oman(, Rachida el-Charni (Tunisia), Latifa Labsir and Hanane Derkaoui (Morocco), Fadhila el Farouk (Algeria), Renée Hayek (Lebanon) and Mansour Ez Eldin (Egypt) all write eloquently and forcefully on human issues such as loss, identity, personal awakening, family relations, migration, exile, being black in the Arab world, prejudice, dealing with prison and discrimination, travel and local customs.

Banipal 44 also features works by two Iraqi authors, novelist poet Fadhil al-Azzawi and author and journalist Hussain al-Mozany, also the Timbuktu-born novelist Omar al-Ansari and the talented young Saudi author Mohammed Hasan Alwan, while in Literary Influences, Habib Selmi tells the engrossing tale of how he became a writer in a house of no books.

Banipal 44 inaugurates a new Guest Writer occasional feature, the first being the American poet Marilyn Hacker who, in February 2012, was awarded the Argana International Poetry Prize by the House of Poetry in Morocco.

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Banipal No. 43
Banipal 43, Celebrating Denys Johnson-Davies (2012)

Banipal 43 – Celebrating Denys Johnson-Davies

Guest Literature: KOREA

Banipal 43 salutes the doyen of Arabic-English translation, Denys Johnson-Davies. Since his first translation in the 1940s, he has introduced an impressive list of classics of contemporary Arabic literature, prose as well as poetry. His lifelong work has been instrumental in placing modern Arabic literature on the international scene. Fellow translators, authors and publishers write about the breadth and depth of his contribution to Arabic literary translation.

Banipal 43 brims with a cornucopia of fiction and poetry from across the Arab world, with fiction from Morocco (Hassan Najmi), Libya (Saleh Snoussi), Lebanon (.Jad El Hage) and Egypt (Nael El Toukhy), and poems by Saadi Youssef (Iraq), Maram al-Massri (Syria), and Youssef Rakha (Egypt). The issue opens with Kuwaiti poet Saadiah Mufarreh, followed by Tunisian author Khaled Najar, who embarks on a literary journey through Alexandria’s history. In an in-depth interview renowned Egyptian author Sonallah Ibrahim talks about his writing, his long career – and the future of Egypt.

With the winner of the 2012 International Prize for Arabic Fiction announced on 27 March, Banipal 43 publishes excerpts from each of the six shortlisted novels – a collaboration between Banipal and the Emirates Foundation.

Our Guest Literature in this issue is from Korea: four fiction writers and four poets bring readers some of the best of today’s Korean poetry and novellas over 111 pages (in print and at, guest-edited by Kim Jaeyong.

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Banipal No. 42
Banipal 42, New Writing from the Emirates (2011)

Banipal 42 focuses on the literature being written now the United Arab Emirates. As readers begin their journey into the works of 27 writers, three introductory essays open up the background to the short story, the development of modern poetry and the state of the novel in the UAE today. Among the stories that stand out are Abdul Hamid Ahmed’s Kuya’s Little Things about an Indian worker’s struggle to provide for his far-away family, the excerpt from Sara al-Jarwan’s novel Letters to my Lord the Sultan, spelling out the complexities of life in a family of one man with four wives and Adel Khozam’s reflections, Music, in stanzas echoing the musical scale.  
It proved impossible to keep the feature within its designated limits and so, instead of pulling some works out we decided to continue them online – and miss nothing. Go to Selections to read the rest of the feature. 

Banipal’s Guest Literature feature this issue comes from Germany: eight great authors at the top of their fields. And  this issue sees the return to the popular feature Literary Influences. Prize-winning Saudi Arabian author Raja Alem recounts her passion for reading as a child and the world authors she read. 

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Banipal No. 41
Banipal 41, Celebrating Adonis (2011)

Banipal 41 opens with poems from the best-known Libyan poet Ashur Etwebi, and continues with fiction from four talented authors from, Lebanon, Iraq and Sudan.  There is a feature on Arabic Writers in Sweden, from authors from Syria and Iraq who have settled there over the last two decades. The special feature Celebrating Adonis marks the poet's eightieth birthday last year and includes a translation of his latest poem with testimonies from V.S.Naipaul, Joachim Sartorius, Roger Allen, Yang Lian, and more.
This issue takes an important step forward in developing intercultural dialogue by introducing a new regular feature of a Guest Literature. Banipal presents readers with our first guest – contemporary Slovenian literature – with thanks to the EMUNI Foundation and the EMUNI University of Slovenia. Plus book reviews, photo report of Ramsey Nasr's enthralling reading and conversation at the World Literature Weekend on 18 June, and another new feature Last Page.

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Banipal No. 40
Banipal 40, Libyan Fiction (2011)

Banipal publishes its fortieth issue in Spring 2011, showcasing Libyan literature at the very moment of uprising and change in the Arab world, especially in Libya.

With 135 pages of terrific reading from both Libya’s foremost and emerging fiction writers – introduced by Omar Abulqasim Alkikli on The Libyan Short Story and Ibrahim Ahmidan on The Libyan Novel – the feature presents a wide range of works by 17 authors from inside and outside Libya, as well as a profile of the pioneer literary figure Ali Mustafa al-Musrati.

Banipal 40 also includes works by award-winnning authors from Morocco, Oman and Lebanon, respectively Abdelkarim Jouiti, Jokha al-Harthi, Abdo Wazen, plus an in-depth interview with Lebanese novelist Alawiya Sobh.

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Banipal No. 39
Banipal 39, Modern Tunisian Literature (2010)

Banipal 39 – Modern Tunisian Literature features over 150 pages of poetry and fiction by Tunisian authors, plus an introduction to the country’s literary pioneers with profiles, and book reviews

Banipal 39 – Modern Tunisian Literature includes newly translated works of the foremost poet in the Arab world, Adonis. Also  fiction from Fadhil al-Azzawi and Mekkawi Said, and poetry by Omar Sabbagh


Tribute to the late Taher Wattar 1936-2010

and to critic Farouk Abdel-Kader 1938-2010

PLUS Book Reviews: Albert Cossery – The Jokers, Habib Selmi – The Scents of Marie-Claire, Mahmoud Darwish – Journal of an Ordinary Grief, Inaam Kachachi – The American Granddaughter, Hédi Kaddour – Treason, Mohamed Mansi Qandil – Moon over Samarqand and Hayan Charara’s Arab American poetry anthology, Inclined to Speak

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Banipal No. 38
Banipal 38, Arab American Authors (2010)

Banipal 38 presents over 150 pages of works by North American authors of Arab origin – voices for the 21st century, putting their stamp on multi-heritage, embracing head-on apparent cultural conundrums, voices both irreverent and responsible, deconstructing and satirising the ironies of prejudice. 

Banipal 38 also celebrates the flourishing modernist poetry movement in the United Arab Emirates, with works by four of the most important voices on the UAE poetry scene, Ahmed Rashid Thani, Nujoom Al-Ghanem, Khalid Albudoor and Khulood Al Mu’alla, the latter three visiting the UK in July for the first-ever Emirati poetry readings at the Ledbury Poetry Festival and at the London Literature Festival.

PLUS two of the most talented young Arab authors today:

• Youssef Rakha from Cairo takes readers on a trip to the Rafah border with Gaza

• Hassan Abdulrazzak, author of the successful play Baghdad Wedding, with a hilariously intriguing monologue about the Israeli Wall.

PLUS 27 pages of book reviews and a six-page photo-report of the recent RAWI conference

Read more . . .

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Banipal No. 37
Banipal 37, IRAQI AUTHORS (2010)

IRAQI AUTHORS: Banipal’s first issue of 2010 celebrates authors from Iraq with over half its 224 pages devoted to fiction and poetry by writers from different generations, some spread across the world, but many writing from within the country. We celebrate, in particular, a new generation who are free to write the story of Iraq we’ve been waiting to hear, however hard.  Banipal is indebted to all the translators and copy-editors who made the issue possible.

• Nazum al-Obeidi • Nassif Falak • Hussain al-Mozany • Lutfiya al-Dulaimi • Luay Hamza Abbas • Diya al-Jubaily • literary pioneer, the late Mahdi Issa al-Saqr • PLUS works by eleven poets . . .

PLUS  • the powerful fiction of Yemeni author Ali Mohammed Zayd, Egyptian novelists Mohamed al-Bisatie and Ezzat el-Kamhawi • also Flemish author Rachida Lamrabet Epic • and an epic poem by Algerian poet Habib Tengour

Read more . . .

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Banipal No. 36
Banipal 36, Literature in Yemen Today (2009)

Banipal 36 – Literature in Yemen today presents a rich selection of novel excerpts, short stories and poetry from 17 of today’s Yemeni authors, most of whose work has never before been translated into English.

Many are well-known in Yemen and the Arab world, and some are now regularly invited to European festivals; they include: Huda Ablan, who is currently the secretary-general of the Union of Yemeni writers, the controversial Ali al-Muqri, whose first novel Taste Black . . . Smell Black (excerpted) was published in 2008 to high acclaim, Wajdi al-Ahdal, the winner of numerous Yemeni literary prizes, also, the poet and literary critic Abdel Aziz al-Maqalih, whose modernist voice and pioneering efforts have made the cultural movements in Yemen what they are today.

Also included in the issue are Nadia Alkowkobani, Shawqi Shafiq, Bassam Shamseldin, Habib Abdulrab Sarori, Samir Albufattah, Yasser Abdel Baqi, Ahmad Zein, Fathi Abul Nasr, Mohammad al-Shaibani, Mohammad al-Qaood, Sawsan al-Areeqi and Nabila al-Zubair.

PLUS more . . .

Read more . . .

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Banipal No. 35
Banipal 35, Writing in Dutch (2009)

Writing in Dutch presents ten talented authors who live in the Netherlands and Belgium and write in Dutch, and whose origins are in Morocco, Palestine and Iraq. All ten, explains our guest editor Victor Schiferli in his introduction, are making important contributions, their "new and energetic voices" having enriched and broken "the mould of Dutch literature, taking up themes that had never before been explored". The authors include Ramsey Nasr, the new Poet Laureate of The Netherlands.

Read more . . .

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Banipal No. 34
Banipal 34, The World of Arab Fiction (2009)

Cover: Photograph taken by Samuel Shimon

The theme of the first issue this year is The World of Arab Fiction, presenting fiction from Egypt and Iraq, from Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine and Syria, and from Saudi Arabia, in pages redesigned and resized in book format...(read more)

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Banipal No. 33
Banipal 33, Autumn/Winter 2008

Cover photograph of Mahmoud Darwish by Arts Alliance Productions

This issue opens with a major 70-page feature on the life and legacy of Mahmoud Darwish. It includes articles, tributes, poems and many photographs of the great Palestinian and world poet, who passed away on Saturday 9 August following complications after major heart surgery in Houston, Texas, at the age of 67...(read more)

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Banipal No. 32
Banipal 32, Summer 2008

Cover Artist: Zena Assi

Banipal 32, Summer 2008, introduces a number of new voices for the first time in English. There is the young Egyptian author, Mohamed Salah al-Azab, who is 27 with already several literary awards to his name. The excerpt from his novel [Repeated Stopping] is an urban story of a young man not in control of his life, who easily falls for an older attractive woman, but must be with his father on his death-bed from lung cancer...(Read more)

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Banipal No. 31
Banipal 31, Spring 2008

Cover artist: Mehdi Qotbi

This issue pays tribute to publisher Suhail Idriss, founder of Al-Adab publishing house, and to pioneer Iraqi author Fuad al-Takarli. A new departure for Banipal is a dialogue from The Visitor, an enthralling, and fast-moving playscript by Lebanese poet, translator and author Paul Chaoul...(read more)

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Banipal No. 30
Banipal 30, Autumn/Winter 2007

Banipal 30 – Celebrating Ten Years
Cover artist: Jaber Alwan

Banipal celebrates ten years of publishing – of translating and showcasing hundreds of authors who have never had their works published in English before, presenting newly emerging writers as well as those well-established in the Arab world and beyond ones...(read more)

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Banipal No. 29
Banipal 29, Summer 2007

Cover artist: Ahmed Moualla

Banipal 29 is packed with Summer reading, excerpts of novels, features and photo-reports. We pay tribute to the late Iraqi poet Nazik al-Malaika who revolutionised modern Arabic poetry, and to Moroccan author Driss Chraïbi. The issue opens with an excerpt from Hassan Daoud’s novel Year of the Revolutionary New Bread-Making Machine, due out in October, his second in English translation...(read more)

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Banipal No. 28
Banipal 28, Spring 2007

Cover artist: Adel El Siwi

Every issue now we seem to be saying farewell to a well-known Arab literary figure. We open sadly with a tribute to Mai Ghoussoub, the London-based Lebanese co-founder of Saqi Books, writer and artist, who died so suddenly in February. We dedicate our major feature on Lebanese poetry to her memory...(Read more)

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Banipal No. 27
Banipal 27, Autumn/Winter 2006

Cover artist: Nabil Abu Hamad

Farewell, Naguib Mahfouz!
The issue opens with tributes to the “writer of the world”, the late Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, by Banipal’s editor and contributing editors Roger Allen and Peter Clark. Further on in the issue, the well-known Iraqi author Jalil al-Qaisi is remembered by Fadhil al-Azzawi...(read more)

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Banipal No. 26
Banipal 26, Summer 2006

Cover artist: Sattar Kawoosh

This issue was designed especialy for Summer reading and includes much thought-provoking and captivating fiction. There's a short story by Jamal Mahjoub, an excerpt “Earthquake Nightmare” from a novel by Tunisian author Hassan Nasr which,...(read more)

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Banipal No. 25
Banipal 25, Spring 2006

Cover artist: Mai Refky

100-page feature of works by Egypt's new generation of cosmopolitan young writers who use their pens to debunk the heroic self, the totalitarian idea of the nation and the single voice...(read more)

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Banipal No. 24
Banipal 24, Autumn 2005

Cover artist: Mohamed Melehi

Includes excerpts from novels by Hanan al-Shaykh and Vénus Khoury-Ghata plus an extract from The World of Saddam Hussein and from Samar Yazbek. There are short stories by Ahmed Bouzfour, the late Samir Naqqash, and Ali al-Kasimi, and others by Huzamah Habayeb, Haifa Bitar, Jamila Omairah, Aroussia Naluti and Salwa al-Neimi...(read more)


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Banipal No. 23
Banipal 23, Summer 2005

Cover artist: Dima Hajjar

Opening authors are Palestinians Ala Hlehel and Mahmoud Darwish. There are two major features – on Omani poet Saif al-Rahbi and on the late Syrian poet Saniya Salih. Two powerful figures from North Africa, both writing in French, are Abdellatif Laâbi from Morocco and Abdelwahab Meddeb from Tunisia...(read more)

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Banipal No. 22
Banipal 22, Spring 2005

Cover artist: Sadradeen

Includes excerpts from novels by Najwa Barakat, Ali al-Domaini, Baha Eddine Taoud and Aziz Chouaki, poems by established poets Abbas Beydhoun, Ibrahim Nasrallah, Salah Hassan, Nazih Abu Afash, Inaya Jaber and Rasha Omran and from Palestinian-Americans writing in English Lisa Suher Majaj and Fady Joudeh...(read more)

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Banipal No. 21
Banipal 21, Autumn 2004

Cover artist: Azzawi

c. Fiction of Gamal el-Ghitani, Mahmood Abdel Wahab, Jalil al-Qaisi and others. LITERARY INFLUENCES file is by Lebanese poet Abbas Beydhoun – The Stranger, The Outsider and the Foreigner

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Banipal No. 20
Banipal 20, Summer 2004

Cover artist: Feryel

Includes a 13-page interview with poet Saadi Youssef, a 57-page feature on the novel in Saudi Arabia with eight authors, including Abdul Khal, Turki al-Hamad and Ghazi Algosaibi (profile). Plus fiction from Mahmoud Shukair and four other authors. Poetry from Mohammed Al-Harthi and two others...(read more)

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Banipal No. 19
Banipal 19, Spring 2004

Cover artist: Youssef Abdelké

New size 245 x 170mm - 160 pages illustrated. Tributes to the late Abdelrahman Munif and Mohamed Choukri. Part 3 of series (49 pages) on Iraqi literature with 11 authors. Profile and poems of Mohammed Bennis. And other works by 7 poets and 6 fiction-writers. New series on LITERARY INFLUENCES: Hassouna Mosbahi writes on James Joyce in Tunisia.

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Banipal No. 18
Banipal 18, Autumn 2003

Cover artist: Kareem Risan

Includes Farewells to Edward Said and Wilfred Thesiger. Part Two of series (47 pages) on Iraqi literature with 22 authors. 11-page feature on novelist Habib Selmi. Poems by Khaled Mattawa, Nouri al-Jarrah and four others. Profile of novelist Hassan Nasr by Hartmut Fähndrich

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Banipal No. 17
Banipal 17, Summer 2003

Cover artist: Kadhim al-Khalifa

Includes Part One of 3-part series on contemporary Iraqi authors with 27 authors (50-pages); 12-page feature on author Rabee Jaber. Plus work by novelist Alawiyya Subuh, introduced by Nirvana Tanoukhi. Profile of poet Qassim Haddad

This issue is out of print. We may investigate the possibility of a small reprint if there is a demand, so if you are interested in purchasing a copy of a reprint, please email us directly on Thank you.


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Banipal No. 15
Banipal 15, /16 – Autumn 2002/Spring 2003

Cover Artists: Vladimir Tamari, Samira Badran

Special 131-page feature on contemporary Palestinian literature with 54 authors – poems, fiction, reviews, profiles. PLUS Poems from Abd al-Aziz al-Maqalih, Saadi Youssef and others.

This issue is out of print.
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Banipal No. 14
Banipal 14, Summer 2002

Cover artist: Faisal Laibi Sahi

Banipal 14 includes a 27-page feature on Iraqi fiction with 6 authors, including Mohammad Khodayyi, Mahdi Issa al-Saqr and Fuad al-Takarli. Also a 17-page feature, with interview, on Syrian Kurdish novelist-poet Salim Barakat. Plus fiction from five other authors including Rafik Schami and Miral al-Tahawy, and poems by Paul Chaoul.

This issue is out of print. 
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Banipal No. 13
Banipal 13, Spring 2002

Includes special 56-page feature on contemporary Jordanian literature as Amman celebrates being the UNESCO Arab Capital of Culture in 2002, with 33 authors. PLUS 12-page feature, with interview, on the renowned Egyptian novelist Gamal el-Ghitani. Plus works of poets Mohammad al-Maghut and Abbas Beydhoun, fiction-writer Yasmine Khlat, and poet-author Abdul Kader el-Janabi.

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Banipal No. 12
Banipal 12, Autumn 2001

Cover artist: Saad Ali

A4 – 80 pages illustrated. Interview with novelist and critic Elias
Khoury. Tribute to Mohammed Zefzaf (1945-2001) and works. Works by poets Sargon Boulus, Saadi Youssef, Mohammed Bennis, Fadhil al-Azzawi, Inaya Jaber, Ghassan Zaqtan, Kadhim Jihad, Mouayed al-Rawi and Mohja Kahf. Works by Bensalim Himmich, Rashad Abu Shawar, Samuel Shimon, Mohammed Mustagab and Issa J Boullata. Plus Book Reviews and Events.

This issue is out of print.  We may investigate the possibility of a small reprint if there is a demand, so if you are interested in purchasing a copy of a reprint, please email us directly on


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Banipal No. 10
Banipal 10, /11, Spring 2001/Summer 2001

Cover artist: Patricia Millns

22-page feature, with appreciations and profiles on Moroccan poet Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine. Interviews with author Tayeb Salih and poet Abbas Beydhoun. Poems by Adonis, Etel Adnan and 11 others. Works by Abduallah Laroui, introduced by Kamal Abdellatif, and novelist Halim Barakat introduced by Bassam Frangieh.

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Banipal No. 9
Banipal 9, Autumn 2000

Cover artist: Mahi Binebine

A4 – 80 pages illustrated. Feature on one of Morocco’s best-known short story writer Mohammed Zefzaf, with introduction by Saadi Youssef. An annual fiction prize in his honour is awarded by the Assilah Festival. Interview with pioneer literary translator Denys Johnson-Davies. Lebanese fiction author Hoda Barakat is introduced by Anton Shammas. Plus works by Hani al-Raheb, introduced by Bassam Frangieh, and works by Said al-Kafrawi, introduced by Ferial Ghazoul. Also works by 7 poets and 8 fiction-writers, plus essay by critic and journalist Mohammad Ali Farhat.

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Banipal No. 8
Banipal 8, Summer 2000

Cover artist: Afifa Aleiby

22-page feature on novelist, poet and essayist Tahar Ben Jelloun from Morocco. Feature on works by Ten Iraqi Poets. Works by 6 poets and 10 fiction writers including appreciations. Article by Mahmoud Darwish on Translating Poetry.

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Banipal No. 7
Banipal 7, Spring 2000

Cover artist: Rachid Koraichi

A4 – 88 pages. Feature on poet Saadi YousseF. Feature on contemporary Algerian literature (44-pages) introduced by Algerian author Wacini Laradg. Testimony and Short Stories by Mahmoud Shukair. Works by 7 other poets and works by 5 fiction-writers. Tribute to the late Syrian novelist Hani al-Raheb.

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Banipal No. 6
Banipal 6, Autumn 1999

Cover artist: Kamal Boullata

A4 – 88 pages illustrated
Feature on Jordanian novelist Ghalib Halasa. Interviews with Edward al-Kharrat and Rachid al-Daif. Poems by Fadhil al-Azzawi and 7 other poets. Fiction by Zakariyya Tamer, Salim Barakat and 7 other authors. Plus Tribute to the late Abdul Wahab al-Bayati.

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Banipal No. 5
Banipal 5, Summer 1999

Cover artist: Kacimi

A4 – 96 pages illustrated. Major 41-page feature on contemporary Moroccan literature with 20 authors, including interview with Mohamed Choukri. PLUS poems by Ounsi el Hage, Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, Nizar Qabbani, Sargon Boulus and four other poets. Works by 5 fiction-writers. interview with Ghazi Algosaibi.

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Banipal No. 4
Banipal 4, Spring 1999

Cover artist: Marwan

A4 – 96 pages illustrated. Includes feature on poet Mahmoud Darwish with poems, interviews and appreciations, interviews with and works of novelists Albert Cossery and Yusef Habshi al-Ashqar. Interview with novelist-playwright Ahmed al-Fagih. Plus works by 11 poets, six fiction-writers and articles on the Arabic Novel.

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Banipal No. 3
Banipal 3, October 1998

Cover artist: Azzawi

A4 – 80 pages illustrated. Interviews with novelist Abdelrahman Munif, film-maker Costa Gavras and poet Amjad Nasser, plus works by poet-novelist Anton Shammas and 11 other poets, 10 fiction writers, plus reviews.

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Banipal No. 2
Banipal 2, June 1998

Cover artist: Ali Fenjan

A4 – 80 pages illustrated. Interviews with poet Adonis and poet-painter Etel Adnan. Works by Saadi Youssef and 8 other poets, 9 fiction writers, a tribute to the late Nizar Qabbani, reports on the Quartet and Garnet publishing houses, and on Iraqi exile writing. Front cover painting created especially for Banipal by Ali Fenjan.

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Banipal No. 1
Banipal 1, February 1998

Cover artist: Youssef Abdelké

A4 – 80 pages illustrated. Banipal's first issue includes major interview with Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus, plus works by renowned poet Adonis and 11 other poets, 9 fiction writers. Reports on Al-Kamel and Al-Saqi publishing houses, and a tribute to the late Syrian playwright Sa’adallah Wannus. Front cover painting created especially for the magazine launch by Youssef Abdelké.

This issue is out of print. It is available in digital format only. Dgital subscribers have unlimited and free access to the entire back issue  archive of Banipal issues for the duration of their subscriptions. For details of institutional and individual digital subscriptions, click here or go directly to the individual digital edition here


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Zuheir al-Hiti

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