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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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Literature Without Borders

A few news items on the free movement and translation of literature across borders:

Iraqi novelist Fadhil al-Azzawi's novel The Last of the Angels is published has been translation by The Free Press [US], and the first review is out in the Quarterly Conversation.


Knesset Member Yuli Tamir has proposed a draft bill that would challenge the Israeli embargo on books published in Syria or Lebanon, making books in Arabic more available in Israel. Yuval Azoulay's article in Ha'aretz looks at the challenges facing readers coming through Israeli customs or looking to obtain books in Israel, with an update on the campaign against the embargo launched by Adalah, as the Atlas reported in February.


Emirati newspaper The National offers a global overview of its summer reading recommendations with a nifty hotspotted map. Recs include Rawi Hage's De Niro's Game and Bahaa Taher's Sunset Oasis. Chad at Three Percent suggests turning this format into a social networking app like Cities I've Visited on Facebook...


And Three Percent also put up this short video of the Big Think's interview with Alane Salierno Mason, founder of the brilliant Words Without Borders, discussing literature in translation. In other videos (the Big Think seems to work on one idea per short film), Alane discusses the continuing fortunes of publishers of translation, the guiding impulse for WWB and her thoughts on the power of Oprah.

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