Although Iraqi writer Fadhil al-Azzawi is more widely known in English as a novelist (his The Last of the Angels, Cell Block Five, and The Traveler and the Innkeeper have been met with acclaim), al-Azzawi is perhaps better-known in Arabic as a poet. Both are true, as al-Azzawi’s work has moved between poetry and prose. He answered a few questions about his writing for our ongoing series on Iraqi poets and poetries.
Fadhil al-Azzawi, renowned Iraqi author, was briefly in London to judge the Saif Ghobash-Banipal prize for Arabic Literary Translation, the results of which will be announced in January. Banipal took the opportunity to host an informal discussion with him on 6th December at the Arab British Centre, which Amira Abd El-Khalek attended: By Amira Abd … Continue reading Fadhil al-Azzawi: ‘All These Genres Mixed Together’
On December 6, Banipal will host an informal discussion evening with Iraqi novelist and poet Fadhil al-Azzawi. The discussion will be held at the Library and Meeting Room of the Arab British Centre and will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Berlin-based Al-Azzawi has a long association with Banipal — his work has been published in a dozen different issues, reviewed in more, … Continue reading December 6 in London: A Discussion with Iraqi Poet and Novelist Fadhil al-Azzawi
treads much the same ground as his 1972 novel, Cell Block 5. The earlier book has been called the “first Iraqi prison novel,” and much of the action of The Traveler and the Innkeeper, written in the mid-1970s, also takes place among political prisoners and police. Both novels draw on the acclaimed novelist and poet’s own experience in Iraqi jails.
International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) shortlister Bensalem Himmich and 2011 IPAF judging chair Fadhil al-Azzawi both have new works of fiction coming soon in English.
Banipal recently hit the e-waves, bookstores, and mailboxes with its issue 46: “80 New Poems.” With poems from Vénus Khoury-Ghata, Lorand Gaspar, Khaled Mattawa, Amjad Nasser, Dunya Mikhail, Fadhil al-Azzawi, and more, this one’s definitely worth having.
This year, journalists (and the public) had a chance to question several of the IPAF judges—including chair Fadhil al-Azzawi—at an afternoon press conference in Doha.
Yet Iraqi literature continues, somehow, to blossom. There are older writers Fadhil al-Azzawi and Muhammad Khudayyir still at work (although the former in exile), and much younger ones, too: Thirtysomething Iraqi Hassan Blassim has been called “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive.”
“Home,” a new bilingual collection of contemporary Arabic poetry, is set for a September release, and it features work from nine poets, hailing from eight different countries, with an emphasis on “the minutiae of everyday life—the pain, the pleasure, the uncertainty, the ennui.”
How was I to deal with this strange neighbor who, it seemed, was going to take my most precious possession: my solitude?
The list has a palpable absence of Mahmoud Darwish.
The latest issue of Banipal magazine — 62 — focuses on the relationship between literature and Arab cinema.