Writing Against the Grain

Ali Badr, Mansour Bushnaf & Mona Kareem

Sat 15 July 2017, 12.30pm
British Library

Literature ·

(clockwise from left) Mansour Bushnaf, Ali Badr and Mona Kareem.

(clockwise from left) Mansour Bushnaf, Ali Badr and Mona Kareem.


Sat 15 July 2017, 12.30–1.45pm
Shubbak at the British Library


Single event ticket: £8 / £6 concs
One day: £16 / £14 concs
Both days: £24 / £22 concs

Tickets will go on sale through the British Library website on June 1st

British Library

Knowledge Centre
96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
View on map

Related Events

1 July 2017

Words Without Borders publish newly translated works from a selection of groundbreaking festival artists

What do we mean by Arabic writing against the grain in 2017? What are the inspirations, and the challenges, for the engaged Arab writer today? How do the wider global context, regional events, national regimes, personal stories, and the myriad of other artistic influences shape their work? And what does it mean to be a literary activist? Syrian British writer Robin Yassin-Kassab hosts a lively conversation exploring all this and more with these three very different writers from across the region.

Novelist, poet and playwright Ali Badr was born in Baghdad. The recipient of several awards for his novels, his work has been translated into English (notably The Tobacco Keeper and Papa Sartre). Currently editor-in-chief of Marseille-based Arabic press Alca Books, Ali Badr has extensive experience of contemporary Arabic literary publishing.

Dissident Libyan playwright and novelist Mansour Bushnaf started his literary career in the 1970s, with his twenty plays performed and read across Libya since. Imprisoned for twelve years by the Gaddafi regime for his play When the Rats Govern, his first novel Chewing Gum was published in Cairo in 2008, translated into English in 2014 and French in 2017, but remains banned in Libya.

Mona Kareem is a poet-writer-translator based in New York. She is the author of three poetry collections, some of which have been translated into French, English, Spanish, Dutch, German, Farsi, Italian and Kurdish. Her published translations include Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within and an Arabic selection of Alejandra Pizarnik’s poems.

Shubbak Literary Collaboration

Words Without Borders Publication

Shubbak is collaborating with leading international literature publications to publish new works from a selection of groundbreaking festival artists. Digital magazine Words Without Borders will publish newly translated works including political nonfiction from Egyptian Basma Abdel Aziz; an extract of Nadia Alkokabany’s new novel about the Yemeni revolution; an extract of Mohamed Abdelnabi’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction-shortlisted gay Egyptian novel; and a short play by seminal Libyan playwright Mansour Bushnaf. This special feature will go live on 1 July 2017 on both shubbak.co.uk and wordswithoutborders.org.

Shubbak at the British Library

Part of Shubbak at the British Library – two days of inspirational Arab literature, including talks, panel discussions and workshops.
Find out more