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Banipal 64 – A Rebel named Hanan al-Shaykh features the Lebanese, now London-based author whose spirit of rebellion has stayed with her, enriching the Arab literary scene since her first works as a teenager in Beirut. The issue opens with poems by the late Lebanese poet Bassam Hajjar, widely read as “pioneering and inspirational” among young Arab poets. Plus Iraqi poet Adnan Mohsen with poems of “the ordinary, the familiar and the quotidian”.

Three fiction writers, from Syria, Morocco and Tunisia, explore their respective country’s dilemmas: Damascus-based Khalil Sweileh with “Remorse Test”, and two debut novels – Teatro Cervantes” by Nassima Raoui and “Lavazza” by Chafik Targui. And the six shortlisted novels of the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), considered the most important fiction award in the Arab world.

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