A Rare Book Signing in Saudi

In Arabic Publishing by Edward Nawotka

By Mark Garcia-Prats At the Virgin Megastore in Saudi Arabia, four women authors were signing copies of their newest books for devoted fans. Though this event might not seem newsworthy to many of us in established book markets, book signings are truly rare in Saudi Arabia. Signings by women…rarer still. (Of course, as with most everywhere else in the world, …

2010 Arab American Book Award Winners

In Arabic Publishing by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka The  winners of the 2010 Arab American Book Award presented by the Arab American National Museum are: Fiction: Master of the Eclipse by Etel Adnan (Interlink) Non-Fiction: Angeleno Days: An Arab American Writer on Family, Place, and Politics by Gregory Orfalea (University of Arizona Press) Poetry: Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea: Poetry and Stories from …

Against the Odds: Bringing Arabic Kids Books to Life in Beirut

In Arabic Publishing, Children's by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije BEIRUT: Dar Onboz is a small, Beirut-based publishing company with big dreams. Founded in the spring of 2006, just before the Israeli summer bombing of Lebanon, Dar Onboz has faced down financial worries, problems with distribution and the general difficulties of running a company in country where the political situation is volatile and corruption is commonplace. The …

Saudi Author Abdo Khal Wins Arabic “Booker”

In Arabic Publishing by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Saudi Arabian author Abdo Khal won the $60,000 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (the Arab Booker) for his novel Spewing Sparks as Big as Castles, which is also known as She Throws Sparks, and is published by Al-Jamal Publications. Taleb Alrefai, who served as chair for this year’s panel of judges, said, “The winning novel is a brilliant …

“Nobody is under the illusion that literature can change the world.”

In Arabic Publishing by Erin L. Cox

By Erin L. Cox In this week’s The New Yorker, Claudia Roth Pierpont writes an interesting piece on the contemporary Arabic novel and the movement to increase the English-translation of Arabic works through Abu Dhabi’s Arabic Prize.  In the article, Pierpont heralds some of the great Arabic writers — Nobel Prize winning Naguib Mahfouz, Alaa Al Aswany, and Elias Khoury to name …

Looking at Arabic Fiction in Translation

In Arabic Publishing by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti The January 18 issue of the New Yorker has a great piece by Claudia Roth Pierpont (already available online) on Arabic novels in translation: I worked with some of these authors during my time at the American University in Cairo Press, so it’s a pleasure to see the New Yorker giving this growing literary landscape some well-deserved …

Dubai Cancels Children’s Book Fair

In Arabic Publishing by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Dubai’s financial crisis has led to the cancellation of the inaugural Dubai International Children’s Book Fair. The event had been scheduled to take place February 3-10, 2010, but the event organizers, the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, announced with “regret” on Friday that the Fair has been “indefinitely postponed.” The Maktoum Foundation, which promoted the Fair …

Arabic Publishing News: Iraq to Officially Censor Books

In Arabic Publishing, News by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti The Iraqi Ministry of Culture has just taken the unexpected step of launching a program of official censorship of books imported from abroad. The new rule also applies to books published within Iraq, as publishers are required to obtain authorization before printing. Needless to say, this has provoked a hostile reaction from Iraqi publishers and booksellers, calling …