was born in the province of Hadida, Yemen, in 1973. He is a novelist, short story writer and playwright. Some of his works have been banned in Yemen and at one point he was forced to leave the country for a time. He is the winner of numerous Yemeni literary prizes in Yemen and has published four collections of short stories, four novels, a play and a film screenplay.

His controversial novel Qawarib Jabailyyah (Mountainous Boats) was reviewed in Banipal 19.

Banipal's issue on Literature in Yemen Today (No 36) featured a chapter from Wagdi's novel A Land without Jasmine,  translated by William M Hutchins. Published later, in 2012, by Garnet Publishing, A Land Without Jasmine's translator William M Hutchins was joint winner of the 2013 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

The Judges said of the book: "A Land Without Jasmine – A gripping page-turner from a gifted and original storyteller, superbly translated"

"The novel deals with many social and political issues such as the sexual repression of males in a conservative society and the corruption of public institutions yet it does so in the guise of a thriller that keeps the reader enthralled. The story is told by several characters whose accounts do not often tally with one another, leaving room for the readers to synthesise their own version of the truth. Altogether a gripping page-turner from a talented writer, superbly translated by William Maynard Hutchins."

For more about the book and the 2013 Prize click here

Contributor's Issues
Banipal No 49 A Cornucopia of Short Stories (2014)
Banipal No 36 Literature in Yemen Today (2009)

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Rashad Abu Shawar

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