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Banipal 69 – 9 New Novels opens with a salute to the devastated city of Beirut in texts by two of its major authors – poet Abdo Wazen with “Beirutshima” and Elias Khoury with “The City of Strangers”.

The main feature introduces nine new Arabic novels by authors from Tunisia, Lebanon, Oman, Bahrain, Algeria, Sudan, Qatar and Egypt with reviews and translated excerpts – Ezzedine Choukri Fishere (Egypt), whose novel Exit is due out next year translated by Jonathan Smolin, is interviewed by his translator.

Our front cover remembers the great Moroccan artist and activist Mohamed Melehi, who succumbed tragically to Covid-19. We hope that all our contributors and all subscribers can stay safe and well as we come to the end of an especially difficult year with Covid-19 still rampaging around the world.

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