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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). A new edition of the English translation of Arabesques will be published by New York Review Books (NYRB Classics) in January 2023.
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 Emeritus of Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies 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 gave 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 marked the 10th successful year of awarding prizes for literary translation of contemporary Arabic literature into English.
The Lecture took place at The British Library's Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.
The Lecture was 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