Jonathan Wright studied Arabic, Turkish and Islamic History at St. John's College, Oxford University. Between 1980 and 2009 he worked for Reuters news agency mainly in the Middle East, and between 2008 and 2011 he was the managing editor of Arab Media and Society, an online academic journal of the American University in Cairo.
His first literary translation, from Egyptian colloquial dialect, was Khaled al-Khamissi’s Taxi (2009). He has translated a number of novels from Arabic to English: Hassan Blasim's short story collection The Madman of Freedom Square (Comma Press, 2009); The State of Egypt, a collection of essays and articles by Alaa el-Aswany (AUC Press, 2011); Judgement Day by Rasha al-Ameer (AUC Press, 2012); Life on Hold by Fahd al-Atiq (AUC Press, 2012); the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prizewinning Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan (Atlantic Books, 2012); The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim (Comma Press, 2013); Whatever Happened to the Egyptian Revolution by Galal Amin (AUC Press, 2013); and Sleepwalkers by Said Makkawi (to be published by Dar el-Shorouk).
His most recent translations include Bahaa Abdelmegid's Temple Bar (AUC Press, 2014), Land of No Rain by Amjad Nasser (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2014) which was commended by the 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, and the 2013 winning title of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2015).
He won the 2013 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for his translation of Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for his translation of The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim. He was a judge of the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize.
Banipal No 53 The Short Stories of Zakaria Tamer (2015)
Banipal No 56 Generation '56 (Summer 2016)
Banipal No 46 80 New Poems (2013)
Banipal No 57 Syria in the Heart
Banipal No 52 New Fiction (2015)
IPAF Short list Announced[read more]
Complete Digital Archive of Banipal is launched[read more]
Ali Bader selected as First Banipal Visiting Writer Fellow[read more]
Saif Ghobash Banipal Prizewinner Jonathan Wright and his author Saud Alsanousi celebrate in Manchester on 23 February[read more]
International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017 – Longlist announced[read more]
Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa writes on being Syrian today – "the issue in Syria is not one of refugees but of a whole population that is being turned into either corpses or forced to flee while the world stands silently by"[read more]
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