I translated two stories for the Bloomsbury / Hay Festival collection Beirut39. Layla’s Belly by the Leabanese writer Hyam Yared and The Wounded Man a story by Moroccan writer Abdellah Taia
‘Beirut39’ is a Hay Festival project which aims to select and celebrate 39 of the best young Arab writers as a centrepiece of the Beirut World Capital festivities in April 2010. Following the successful launch of ‘Bogotá 39’, which identified many of the most interesting upcoming Latin American talents, including Wendy Guerra, Junot Diaz (Pulitzer Prize), Santiago Roncagliolo and Juan Gabriel Vásquez (short-listed for the IFFP), ‘Beirut 39′ will bring to worldwide attention the best work from the Arab world. The judges will select from more than 300 submissions and the writers’ names will be unveiled in September 2009. The book will be published in English and in Arabic editions throughout the world by Bloomsbury. ‘These 39 Arab writers are all under the age of 40. They have flung open the doors on Arabic culture inviting the reader to transcend cultural boundaries and land in a region known as the “Arab World”.’ Hanan al-Shaykh Samuel Shimon is the editor of Banipal, the highly respected magazine of new Arab writing in English translation. Amin Maalouf is the author of many works of fiction, including Leo the African and Balthasar’s Odyssey, and non-fiction, including The Crusades Through Arab Eyes and Origins: a Memoir.