This is the last day to catch Tunisian novelist Habib Selmi at the Literaturfestival in Berlin, but there are a number of other interesting Arab-lit-and-translation events in the second half of September:
You can still see Habib Selmi “take a look at religion in Tunisian society” at the Literaturfetival today (September 14). He is also launching his German- and French-language translations of The Women of al-Bassatin, which has not yet appeared — or been signed with a publisher, to my knowledge — in English.
After that, Selmi is set to attend the Festival della Letteratura Mediterranea (September 22) to launch the Italian translation of The Scents of Marie-Claire, which has been translated into English, by Fadwa Qasem, pub. AUC Press.
Other Arab authors at the Lucera festival include the Palestinian novelist Sayed Kashua (September 18), who writes in Hebrew, and Lebanese graphic novelist Maya Zankoul (September 20), who composes in an amalgam of French, English, and Arabic.
Washington D.C., USA:
This month, the Jenin Freedom Theatre is touring the US with “The Island“; they’ll be at Georgetown University on September 16 and 17 at the Devine Studio Theatre.
The Brooklyn Book Festival is set for Sunday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and participating authors include Egyptian writer Yasmine el Rashidi, Lebanese graphic novelist Zeina Abirached and Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon. They’ll be there along with many other literary luminaries (Edwidge Danticat! Jamaica Kincaid! Charles Simic! Art Spiegelman! Claire Messud! Zoë Wicomb!) And many more.
Los Angeles, USA:
On the same day (September 22), on the opposite shore, the Levantine Cultural Center will be hosting “We Are Iraqis” A Literary & Music Tribute to Saadoun Al-Bayati,” and poets Dima Hilal and Sholeh Wolpé will read from the anthology Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.
On the next day (September 23), the Maida Vale Library & Haus Publishing Present “Arab Fiction Today.” In April, Arabia Books donated a set of every one of its published works to every library authority in England. To celebrate Arabic literature in the English language, as well as the opening of Maida Vale’s refurbished library, translator Peter Clark, Banipal publisher Margaret Obank and publisher Barbara Schwepcke will host a discussion on the importance of Arab literature today, and the changes in its reception in the English-speaking world over recent years. It’s free, but booking is required. More information here.
The day after that (September 24), Tahia Abdel Nasser will talk about “Translations of Nasser: Between the Public and the Private.”
New York City, USA:
Back to London, England:
On the last day of the month (September 30) there are a wealth of translation-related activities at the International Translation Day symposium, which is set to run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.