Banipal 55 - Sudanese Literature Today (Spring 2016)

Spring 2016 issue

Banipal 55 starts our nineteenth year of publication with a sharp eye on the essential character of the contemporary Arab literary scene. While much of the Arab world remains plunged into chaos with wars and devastation, sectarian divisions, repression and censorship, the Arab literary side of life is essentially modernist, secular, progressive and enlightened, speaking out for the marginalised – and needing to be heard across the world. In reflecting this, almost the entire issue is given over to writers from Sudan – fiction, poetry, articles, book reviews and interviews. In print or digital format.


Banipal 55 title

Ahmad Al Malik
A Short Introduction to the Sudanese Literary Scene

Hammour Ziada: The Wad Azrag District, a short story translated by Jonathan Wright

Ahmad Al Malik: Lovers don’t Steal, a short story translated by Robin Moger

Mohammad Jamil Ahmad: Seven Poems, translated by Basil Samara

Leila Aboulela: Amulet and Feathers, a short story

Abdel Ghani Karamallah: The Jealous Star, a short story translated by John Peate

Najlaa Osman Eltom: Two Poems, translated by Maysoon Elnigoumi and Raphael Cohen and by Ann Harrison

Hamed El-Nazir: An excerpt from his novel The Waterman’s Prophecy, translated by Adil Babikir

Jamal Mahjoub: The Ghost of Dr John Garang

Emad Blake: An excerpt from his novel Shawarma, translated by John Peate

Rania Mamoun: A short story, Passing, translated by William M Hutchins

Tarek Eltayeb: Helmy Abu Regileh, a short story translated by Sally Gomaa

Stella Gaitano: Testimony of a Sudanese Writer, translated by Adil Babikir

Mansour El Souwaim: An except from his novel A Rogue’s Memory, translated by William M Hutchins

Emad Blake: The New Novel in Sudan, translated by Rosie Maxton

Nur Al-Huda Mohammad Nur Al-Huda: Interview by Azza Rashad, translated by Becki Maddock


Volker Kaminski: Der Messias von Darfur by Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin

Olivia Snaije: Nouvelles du Soudan, (Short Stories of Sudan)

Clare Roberts: Ebola ’76 and French Perfume by Amir Tag Elsir


IPAF logo




Tareq Bakari: Excerpt from Numedia, translated by William M Hutchins

Rabai Al-Madhoun: Excerpt from Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba, translated by Paul Starkey

Mohamed Rabie: Excerpt from Mercury, translated by Robin Moger

Mahmoud Shukair: Excerpt from Praise for the Women of the Family, translated by Jonathan Wright

Shahla Ujayli: Excerpt from A Sky Close to our House, translated by Nancy Roberts

George Yaraq: Excerpt from Guardian of the Dead, translated by Raphael Cohen


Gretchen McCullough: A Portal of Space by Mahmoud Saeed

Laura Ferreri: The Dust of Promises by Ahlam Mosteghanemi



Fatema Mernissi (1940–2015)
The Sindbad of Fes travels against the Cowboy
by Khaled Hroub

Fatema Mernissi and Khaled Hroub in Granada, 2006.
Fatema Mernissi and Khaled Hroub in Granada, 2006.

The full tribute can be read online here


The 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation
Report by Valentina Viene, and photos by Samuel Shimon

PLUS Online onlyYoussef Rakha talks to Valentina Viene about his award-winning novel The Book of the Sultan’s Seal and “rediscovering and reanimating the Arabic language”. The interview is online here.

The translators in Banipal 55 (Spring 2016) are:

Adil Babikir, Raphael Cohen, Maysoon Elnigoumi, Sally Gomaa, Ann Harrison, William M Hutchins, Becki Maddock, Rosie Maxton, Robin Moger, John Peate, Nancy Roberts, Basil Samara, Paul Starkey, Jonathan Wright

For supporting this issue, Banipal thanks
Arts Council England, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Arts Council England        Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo   

  International Prize for Arabic Fiction logo