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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.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hanan al-Shaykh on Kensington Gardens

It's a bit wet to enjoy the real thing at the moment, so it's cheering to see the original stories published in pamphlets about London's Royal Parks. It's particularly great to see a story by Hanan al-Shaykh, "A Beauty Parlour for Swans," published in Arabic and English facing-page translation by Christina Phillips with the author. al-Shaykh's previous novel, Only in London, gave a mordantly entertaining insight into the mixed-and-match worlds of the Arab community in London, so her take on Kensington Gardens promises things every bit as magical as Peter Pan.

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