Welcome to a World of Literature

Everything you need to know about the world's great writers and emerging voices is being collected and shared on the English PEN Online World Atlas. Head over to the Atlas to create (or edit) a profile for your favourite author or book, leave a comment or contact another user, and discover your next great read. We believe that great writing has the power to change your life and change the world, one book at a time.

The Atlas is proud to be partnering with the Hay Festival's Beirut39 contest, celebrating Beirut's year as UNESCO World Book Capital, to find the hottest authors under 40 of Arabic origin. Nominations are open until August 24th, 2009.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bahaa Taher in London

The National has a profile marking the author's tour marking the English publication of Sunset Oasis, his Arabic Booker-winning novel.

Meanwhile, the Complete Review salutes another leading Arabic writer, Zakaria Tamer, with two reviews.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Saw Ramallah: Metro's Book of the Month

It may be a London freesheet but Metro has a high-powered book club going on. Mourid Barghouti's memoir I Saw Ramallah (translated by Ahdaf Soueif) follows The Line of Beauty (August) and The White People (July) in what could potentially be the largest virtual book club out there. So if you're commuting in London, look out for Tube neighbours reading a book with this cover:
and say hi to book club members in person, or leave reviews and comments on the site for other readers to share.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

PEN Atlas on Booktrust

PEN Atlas is featured on Booktrust's Translated Fiction site, a lively and exciting resource whether you're a reader or translator, with reviews, articles (including an inside look at the BCLT Translation Summer School), a blog, and news of UK prizes and initiatives for fiction in translation.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2009 Naguib Mahfouz Award announced

The View from Fez has the scoop as a Moroccan writer, Bensalem Himmich, professor of philosophy at the Mohammed V University in Rabat. He is the auhtor of over 26 books in both Arabic and French.

He has previously won the critics' prize (1990) for his novel "Le fou du pouvoir," a book elected by the Arab Union of Writers as one of the hundred best books of the 20th century. He also won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for his book Al-'Allamah (2001), "The Polymath," a book about the great Arab writer Ibn Khaldoun.

I can't find the title of the winning book anywhere, including the page at American University of Cairo, who publish the English translations of the winning books -- they're still on 2007.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Read: Translation in Practice

Thanks to Words Without Borders for flagging up this new book from Dalkey Archive Press. Based on a British Council symposium, translator Gill Paul gathered contributions from leading translators, including PEN members Ros Schwartz and Amanda Hopkinson, to present the most coherent and comprehensive guide to the pragmatics of translation.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Listen: Fady Joudah Reads Mahmoud Darwish

Courtesy of the Center for the Art of Translation: five poems recorded at the Center's Lit & Lunch series.

2009 IWP Participants announced

Iraqi poet Soheil Najm and Saudi Arabian short-story writer Hanaa Hijazi will be taking part in a reading at 5 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Shambaugh House, the IWP headquarters at 30 N. Clinton St. on the University of Iowa campus. They're two of the University of Iowa's International Writing Program 2009 participants, alongside novelist, poet, scriptwriter, and translator Yasser Abdellatif from Egypt; French (of Algerian heritage) novelist and essayist Mabrouck Rachedi; and Jordanian filmmaker Yahya Alabdallah.
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