Banipal Seeking Authors for Arab-Scandinavian Issue

Award-winning Swedish-Tunisian author Jonas Hassen Khemiri.

According to a notice on KikahBanipal magazine is seeking Scandinavian-Arab authors to put together a special issue on “Arab Writers in Scandinavia.”

Authors who wish to participate should send to banipal.summer@gmail-dot-com:

  • Texts of poetry or short stories or chapters of novels
  • One or several large-sized photographs
  • A resume

The planned Arab-Scandinavian issue would follow successful issues on the Arab diaspora in America (38) and Arabs writing in Dutch (35).

As for Scandinavian-Arab fiction, I find myself at a bit of a loss.

I do hope they’ll include Hassan Blasim, whose Madman of Freedom Square was (rightly) longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize last year. Blasim lives in Finland, and I find it a strange oversight that Blasim has not yet appeared in Banipal. I also find it strange that he was not selected as part of the Beirut39 club.

I would expect to see Jonas Hassen Khemiri, whose father is Tunisian and mother is Swedish. His first novel, One Eye Red, was published (in Swedish) in 2003. His second novel, Montecore, was published to strong reviews in 2006, and should appear in English (from Knopf) in the spring of next year.  A collection of Khemiri’s short stories was also published (in Swedish) in 2009.

To learn more about him, read an interview with Khemiri on Qantara.

Of course, there are also those previously featured in Banipal:

Copenhagen-based Iraqi poet Muniam Alfaker has previously been in the magazine.

As has Lebanese publisher Hesham Bahari, author of two novels in Swedish.

Poet Vivian Slioa was born in Baghdad in 1976 and writes in Arabic and Swedish.

Other than that, well, I don’t know. I suppose either you’ll tell me, or I’ll have to wait for the issue.