Jonathan Wright is an award-winning translator whose translations include three IPAF winners, Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad (IPAF 2014), Saud Alsanousi’s The Bamboo Stalk (IPAF 2013) for which he won for the 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize), and Youssef Ziedan’s Azazeel (IPAF 2009) which was joint winner of the 2013 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize).
He 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 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.
At the beginning of 2017 he was announced as the winner of the 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for his translation of the novel The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwait author Saud Alsanousi. For full details click here
Banipal No 60 Alaa al-Deeb, A Writer Apart (Autumn/Winter 2017)
Banipal No 53 The Short Stories of Zakaria Tamer (2015)
Banipal No 59 The Longlist (Summer 2017)
Banipal No 56 Generation '56 (Summer 2016)
Banipal No 46 80 New Poems (2013)
Banipal No 57 Syria in the Heart (Autumn/Winter 2016)
Banipal No 52 New Fiction (2015)
Banipal No 61 A Journey in Iraqi Fiction
Banipal No 62 A Literary Journey through Arab Cinema
Banipal No 58 Arab Literary Awards (Spring 2017)
Banipal 62 – A Literary Journey through Arab Cinema for summer reading[read more]
Remembering Denys Johnson-Davies[read more]
New Banipal issue
A Journey in Iraqi Fiction
Najwa Binshatwin, the 2018 Banipal Visiting Writer Fellow[read more]
Ahmed Saadawi salutes Banipal magazine
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award Winners for 2017-2018[read more]
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