Lit & Found: Banipal 72, Iraqi Jewish Writers

The latest issue of Banipal magazine, out now, focuses on Iraqi Jewish writers.

The magazine’s seventy-second issue features short stories, novel excerpts, and poems by 17 authors of Iraqi descent, guest-edited by Yehouda Shenhav-Shahrabani and Yuval Evri.

The issue also includes essays about the authors and poets.

The magazine’s editors write:

“For several centuries, Iraqi Jews were key contributors to Iraq’s rich social and cultural tapestry – active in all areas of life as novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, musicians, composers, singers, and artists. Sadly, all this came to a tragic end with the massive transfer-emigration and forced displacement of Iraqi Jews in the 1950s to Israel. 

“The texts raise universal questions of belongingness, exile, diaspora, cross-national affinities, and cross-linguistic possibilities – all are either translated directly from Arabic (approximately two-thirds) or from Hebrew, with one written originally in English.”

The front cover image is of Iraqi-Jewish writer Maryam al-Mulla (1927-2013), whose “His Tragedy, A Proverb” is translated for the issue by Reuven Snir and Aviva Butt.

More about the issue on the Banipal website.