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Anton Shammas is a Palestinian poet and author, essayist and translator of Arabic, Hebrew and English. His novel Arabesques, written in Hebrew and first published in 1986, was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the best seven novels of 1988. It is translated into eight languages including English, French, German, Spanish and Italian (Hebrew: Tel Aviv, 1986; English: Viking, 1988; Penguin International Writers, 1990; University of California Press, 2001).
He has written three plays and has a three poetry collections, the first written in Arabic, and second and third in Hebrew. He has translated plays of Dario Fo, Athol Fugard, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and Edward Albee into Arabic and Hebrew, as well as a number of works of Hebrew literature into Arabic. He has translated into Hebrew
three novels of the Palestinian writer Emile Habiby, and a collection of poems by Taha Muhammad Ali.
His essays have been published in Harper's Magazine, New York Review of Books, and the New York Times magazine.
He is a Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, where he has lived since 1987.
He is currently working on a book entitled Blind Spots and Other Essays on Translation. He is a contributing editor of Banipal.
On 14 October 2016 Anton Shammas will be in the UK to give the Inaugural Lecture of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. The establishment of the annual lecture on literary translation in the name of the prize marks the 10th successful year of awarding prizes for literary translation of contemporary Arabic literature into English.
The Lecture is at 7pm, Friday 14 October 2016, at The British Library's Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.
The Lecture is entitled :
Blind Spots: A millennium of Arabic in translation
– from Ibn Al-Haytham to William Faulkner via Don Quixote
To go to the British Library webpage, click here