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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.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Meet Denys Johnson-Davies, Arabic translator extraordinaire

The Directors of Arabia Books and Haus Publishing invite you to celebrate
Denys Johnson-Davies's
Memories in Translation: A Life Between the Lines of Arabic Literature

at the
70 Cadogan Place, London SW1X
on Friday, 29 May 2009, at 6.30pm

Denys Johnson-Davies will be in conversation with
Professor Bruce Ingham (Emeritus Professor of Arabic Dialect Studies, SOAS)

Described by Edward Said as ‘the leading Arabic-English translator of our time’, Denys Johnson-Davies has more than 30 volumes to his name, in a career spanning six decades. He has written about his life and work in Memories in Translation: A Life Between the Lines of Arabic Literature, a fascinating insight into his life as a translator of and contributor to literature from the Middle East. For his services to Arabic literature Denys Johnson-Davies was the first recipient of the coveted Sheikh Zayed Book Award Cultural Personality of the Year in 2007, awarded for ‘significant contributions to Arabic culture’.

During the Second World War he moved to Cairo, where he started befriending and translating Egyptian authors, amongst them the Nobel laureate novelist Naguib Mahfouz, the master short story writer Yusuf Idris and the playwright Tawfiq al-Hakim. He also promoted the Syrian writer Zakaria Tamir, the late Tayeb Salih from Sudan and the greatly missed Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. In the 1970s Heinemann invited Denys Johnson-Davies to be the Consultant for an Arab Author series. In subsequent decades his works were published by Quartet and the American University in Cairo Press. Arabia Books is proud to publish his latest collection of short stories from the United Arab Emirates.

In a Fertile Desert: Modern Writing from the United Arab Emirates, is the first volume of short stories to emerge from this commercially and culturally vibrant centre of the Arab world. Long before the riches of oil, this region was harsh, and the stories in this collection sum up the struggles of those early days; and the difficulties and dangers of bringing together the past and future of the UAE.

To RSVP for the event please email shop [at] hauspublishing.com

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