Libyan authors at London Book Fair

The Hidden Face of Libyan Fiction

Date:   13 April 2011
Time:   14:30 to 15:30
Place:   London Book Fair, Westminster Room, Earls Court 1

Libyan authors Wafa Albueissa, Giuma Bukleb, Ghazi Geblawi, Hisham Matar and Mohamed Mesrati, talk about the unknown Libyan novels, short stories and literary life in Libya, and open a discussion on the ongoing struggle for freedom in their country.

Chair: Samuel Shimon, editor of Banipal, whose current issue, Banipal 40, devotes over 135 pages to Libyan Fiction from 17 authors.

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Wafa Al-BuiessaWafa Al-Bueissa was born in 1973 in Libya, but now lives in Holland after her debut novel, Hunger has Other Faces (excerpted in Banipal 40 – Libyan Fiction) led to hate campaigns in Libyan mosques for her to be declared an unbeliever. She was obliged to leave the country and was given asylum in Holland. She has written three novels, her second Fursan al-Sua’al (Knights of Coughing) was published in 2009 in Tunisia. Her third, a historical novel about Na’athal, a Jew from Medina in Mohammed’s time, has been banned in Libya.

Giuma BuklebGiuma Bukleb was born in Tripoli in 1952 and has published his short stories in Libyan literary periodicals since 1976. Since 1988 he has lived and worked in London. He has published stories in Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, and in his collection (Tales from England).

Ghazi GeblawiGhazi Gheblawi was born in Tripoli in 1975. He has two short story collections in Arabic and has published poems in British literary magazines. An award-winning blogger and podcaster, in 2006 he founded the Arabic cultural podcast (Imtidad Cultural Podcast). He lives and works as a doctor in London.

Hisham MatarHisham Matar was born in New York City in 1970 into a Libyan family. He has lived in Tripoli, Libya, and Cairo, Egypt, and in 1986 moved to the UK.  His first novel, In the Country of Men, which explored his years of growing up and the kidnapping of his father by the Libyan authorities, was shortlisted for the 2006 UK Booker Prize. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, is published in March 2011, and excerpted in Banipal 40 – Libyan Fiction. He writes in Arabic and in English.

Mohamed MesratiMohammed Mesrati was born in 1990 in Tripoli, Libya. He started to publish his stories online on Kikah and in 2007 in Al-Quds al-Arabi. He recently published his first collection of short stories while completing a first novel and writing his blogspot ‘My Camomile Tea’. He lives and works in London and studies Creative Writing and English Literature.

The current issue of the magazine is Banipal 40 – Libyan Fiction.
To get a copy before the London Book Fair event, click here

Front cover of Banipal 40 – Libyan Fiction

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Published Date - 13/04/2011