The Six Arab Authors at Hay

The Guardian reports that there will be six (young) Arab authors appearing at the prestigious Hay Festival, set to begin at the end of May. The Guardian lists their names, but: Who are they?

Joumana Haddad is a poet, the administrator of the Arabic Booker prize, and this year’s winner of the Al Majidi Ibn Dhaher Prize. You can read a number of her poems online.

Adania Shibli. If you google Adania Shibli, you will surely come across Ahdaf Souief’s quote that Shibli’s: “the most talked-about writer on the West Bank.” Her Touch has just come out from Clockroot books. While I’m not to speak about this lovely novella before my review appears, I suppose I can tell you to go out and buy it.

Youssef Rakha is a poet and journalist who maintains the blog Arabophile. I believe he’s also working on a novel. You can read some of his work on his blog.

Abdellah Taia is an openly gay Moroccan writer; his Salvation Army is available in English. I have a review of a review of it here.

Faïza Guène is a young French-Algerian writer whose first novel was published at the age of 19; the novel is a semi-autobiographical tale of a young woman in Paris’s deprived suburbs, and was an instant publishing sensation. She talks with The Guardian about her struggles with Parisian racism.

Randa Jarrar is the author of A Map of Home, a coming-of-age novel about a girl with a Palestinian father and an Egyptian-Greek mother who grows up in Kuwait, Egypt, and Texas. Jarrar also translates. Among those she translates: Adania Shibli.