The 2012 Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin opened September 4th and runs through the 16th. The festival often features many of the world’s most high-profile authors, and this year is no different:
This year’s author-participants include Egyptian author Ezzedine Choukri Fishere (shortlisted for the 2012 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his Embrace at Brooklyn Bridge), Saudi Arabia’s Abdo Khal (whose IPAF-winning Throwing Sparks –I think that was the final title decision — is coming out from Bloomsbury Qatar this year); since the advent of the IPAF, the Literaturfestival seems to have given priority to shortlisted authors. They also promise a talk from Tunisia’s Abdelwahab Meddeb.
Among the listed children’s authors, France’s Egypt-inspired Dibou and Golo will give presentations, and in the “Reflections” category, organizers promise talks from celebrated Egyptian journalist Yasmine El Rashidi and brilliant Palestinian novelist Adania Shibli.
I don’t know the work of Abdewahab Meddeb, but his bio on the Literaturfestival site says, “In his literary and academic work he is primarily concerned with the roots and history of Islam, its literature, its culture and the problematic integration of Muslim thought into the processes of modernity.” (Surely they mean modernities.)
The site also says: ” In »Talismano« (1979) the first person narrator in Paris imagines a stroll through Tunis, the town of his childhood, and recalls for the reader the multi-faceted sensuousness of an Arab medina.” (Although surely he wouldn’t exoticize his own book like that.)
Recently, by Abdo Khal:
The Daily Beast: Abdo Khal reflects on Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, trans. Raphael Cohen.
Oh, and Ezzedine Choukri Fishere
…wanted you to see his new, updated website.