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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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New: Toot and Farafina 15

Two items of excitement today: a new Arabic blogging aggregator, Toot, with a focus on

intelligent, passionate, interesting, funny, knowledgeable and courageous people… using the web to make their voices heard.

They're featuring 181 blogs so far, in both Arabic and English, and readers can vote blogs on the site up and down to reflect "what's tooting." Bloggers are invited to submit their blogs for consideration.

Blogger Laila Lalami, perhaps one of the most-read litbloggers and/or Arab bloggers, flags up her guest-edited issue of Nigerian literary magazine Farafina, with a focus on "Remapping Africanness," as Moroccoan writer Anouar Majid titles his essay, to include North Africa. The issue includes an excerpt from Hisham Matar's In the Country of Men, a wonderful serial poem about the Nile by Coptic poet Matthew Shenoda, a report on Darfur by Fady Joudah (Mahmoud Darwish's translator) and an essay on Sudanese novelist Tayeb Salih.

Farafina started as an online magazine in 2004, but since October 2005 has had a print issue as well. You can buy a single issue or subscription from the Kachifo webstore, which has a great selection of African books as well.

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