The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature
The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature

Image: Detail of painting by Youssef Abdelke created for the front cover of the first issue of Banipal magazine, February 1998


© 2009 Banipal Click to go to www.banipal.co.uk
Click to go to Banipal Magazine
Click to go to www.banipal.co.uk

Library

The BALMAL Library, the Banipal Book Club and Recommendations

  

 

Some new books in the Library

All the entries into the 2016 Prize are in the Library, ready to be borrowed. Some of the popular titles are: The Bamboo Stalk (paperback edition)

The Bamboo Stalk
(paperback and hardback editions)
by Saud Alsanousi,
translated by Jonathan Wright.

cover of The Longing of the Dervish by Hammour Ziada

 

The Longing of the Dervish by Hammour Ziada, translated by Jonathan Wright.

 

 

The Book of the Sultan's Seal by Youssef Rakha, the winning novel of the 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation  translated by Paul Starkey. Click here for more information.


Land of No Rain
Land of No Rain
 by Amjad Nasser, translated by Jonathan Wright, and commended for the 2015 Prize.
Click here for more informations. 



Become a Library member and you can borrow up to three books. Dates on my Fingers by Muhsin al-RamliAmong the books you can find  all the 29 entries for the 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, including Dates on my Fingers by Muhsin al-Ramli (to see library entry click here). 

 

You can find all the information about the Library by clicking here

 

Back to top

 * * * *

 
Browse the catalogue:

Fiction • Poetry • Memoirs • Plays

BALMAL is a unique literary resource in the heart of London, containing volumes of fiction, poetry, plays and memoirs by Arab authors translated into English or in the English original.  This collection began at the 2008 London Book Fair where, for the first time ever, Arab publishers were the market focus. Banipal and the London Book Fair collaborated on a display of literary works donated by publishers. These books formed the foundation of BALMAL, which formally opened in January 2010 with a special reception the evening after the Award ceremony of the 2009 Saif Ghobash Banipal Arabic Literary Translation Prize. The library has been growing ever since and now contains over 700 volumes of literature. It is updated regularly with new novels, collections of poetry and of short stories, plays, autobiographies, memoirs and some volumes of literary criticism.

BALMAL is easy to join – just a one-off fee of £10 and you get your library card and membership with which you can borrow up to three books. If you want to browse and visit, just contact the Arab British Centre on 020 7832 1310 or email info@arabbritishcentre.org.uk to make an appointment. The Library is open 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays. For more information click here.

Some of the books in the BALMAL LibraryWe look forward to the library encouraging the reading of contemporary literature in translation from the Arab world. Banipal maintains an up-to-date list of translated literary works by Arab authors – which at present includes over 1,200 titles – with the goal of adding as many as possible to the library. The fiction, poetry, plays and memoirs  are mostly translated from Arabic, although works in any language produced by authors of Arab heritage are included, so the library also contains literature translated from French, German and Dutch, and some works originally written in English. There are also volumes of literary criticism.

BALMAL library is managed by the Arab British Centre and also includes a collection of works about the Arab world covering history, politics, travel, art and cookery. There is a total of over 2,000 titles. For more information click here.

Among the books in the library all the 29 entries for this year's Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and the 10 prizewinning titles from 2006 to last year's prize.  This year's entries are available on short loan of one week, instead ofthe usual three.

The Corpse Washer, written and translated by Sinan Antoon – winning title of the 2014 prize.
Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan, translated by Jonathan Wright, and A Land Without Jasmine by Wagdi al-Ahdal, translated by William M Hutchins, were co-winning titles for the 2013 prize.
• A Muslim Suicide by Bensalem Himmich, translated by Roger Allen – the winning 2012 title. The two other novels by Bensalem Himmich translated by Roger Allen are also in the library. To go to their entries, click on The Polymath and/or The Theocrat.


Other authors with works in the library:

 
Mohamed el-Bisatie died in 2012 after a long illness. His five works in English translation are in the Library:
BALMAL Library shelves
Houses Behind the Trees, translated by Denys Johnson-Davies
Clamor of the Lake
, translated by Hala Halim
Over the Bridge
, translated by Nancy Roberts
Hunger
, translated by Denys Johnson-Davies
Drumbeat
, translated by Peter Daniel


Back to top



 

Banipal Recommends

– great reads in the library, recommended by translators, editors and reviewers for Banipal.

Click the book titles to read the library entries.  

Click the Review title to read the reviews.

 

Recommended by translators

Humphrey Davies (twice a winner and twice a runner-up of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation):
 
Beer in the Snooker ClubBeer in the Snooker Hall by Waguih Ghali.

“A mournful and truculent account of the tensions between Egypt and the West, insider and outsider, idealism and disillusionment, that is as fresh today as when it was written in the years following another revolution.”





Barbara Romaine (runner-up in the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for her translation of Spectres by Radwa Ashour):
 
Season of Migration to the North Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, translated by Denys Johnson-Davies.

“I (doubtless in company with others) would like to propose Denys Johnson-Davies's gorgeous translation of Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih.  The novel itself has of course become a classic of modern Arabic literature; as for the English rendition by Johnson-Davies, it is one of the best translations from Arabic to English (possibly THE best) that I have ever seen.  My husband, who is a native speaker of Arabic, loves this novel, too; like me, he has read it in both Arabic and English and admires the translation about equally with the original.”


In the Library


Adonis Selected Poems translated by Khaled Mattawa

Adonis: Selected Poems

translated by Khaled Mattawa

Read the Review 

by Stephen Watts in Banipal 41.

The Human is the Poetry of the Universe





Yalo by Elias Khoury, translated by Humphrey Davies

In the Library

Yalo by Elias Khoury

translated by Humphrey Davies

Read the Review 

reviewed by James Dalglish in Banipal 40.

“Blood was. The hawk was. Pain was.”




Front cover of In A Fertile Desert
In the Library

In a Fertile Desert

Selected, translated and introduced by Denys Johnson-Davies

Read the Review 

by Alice Johnson in Banipal 42

A Comprehensive Collection





Baghdad Blues by Sinan Antoon



In the Library

The Baghdad Blues
by Sinan Antoon


Read the Review 

by Alfred Corn in Banipal 36.

Evoking more than devastation and death




Wild Mulberries by Iman Humaydan Younes


In the Library

Wild Mulberries by Iman Humaydan Younes

Translated by Michelle Hartman


Read the Review
 

by Aamer Hussein in Banipal 33.

The map and mosaic of Sarah's journey

Banipal Book Club logo

The next meeting is on Tuesday 23 May

6.30-8.00pm
Meetings Room & Library
Arab British Centre
1 Gough Square, EC4 A 3DE

The Bamboo Stalk (paperback edition)
Paperback edition

The book under discussion is the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize-winning book The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi. The winning translator Jonathan Wright will be joining us for the discussion.

The Bamboo Stalk hard cover edition
Hardback edition

Click here to download a PDF invitation.

And email bookclub@banipal.co.uk for more information or to let us know you'd like to attend

• • • • •

Do you know about the library of modern Arab literature (BALMAL)?

Lifetime membership of the library costs just £10 – click here for more details.
To browse online the rich collection of Arab fiction in the BALMAL Library, click here

• • • • •

BANIPAL BOOK CLUB
PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

2017

30 March 2017

Cover of Dates on my Fingers

Dates on My Fingers
by Muhsin Al-Ramli,
translated by Luke Leafgren

9 February 2017

No Knives in the Kitchens of this City by Khaled Khalifa

No Knives in the Kitchens of this City
by Khaled Khalifa,
translated by Leri Price

2016

 24 November 2016

cover of The Longing of the Dervish by Hammour Ziada

The Longing of the Dervish
by Hammour Ziada,
translated by Jonathan Wright 

2015

10 December 2015

The 29 Entries of 2015 SGBP showing winner

The 29 entries for the 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

All the entries are available in the BALMAL Library here

For a list of all the 29 entries, click here

 

28 October 2015

Sykes-Picot: The Legacy, Five Plays

Sykes-Picot: The Legacy
Five Modern Short Plays


by Hannah Khalil, Hassan Abdurazzak and Joshua Hinds,
published by Arts Canteen, London

With reading of The Tune is Always Better on the Outside by Hassan Abdulrazzak, with actresses Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso and Dilek Rose. 

The book is available in the BALMAL Library here


4 June 2015

AFRICAN TITANICS
by Abu Bakr Khaal
translated by Charis Bredin

Charis opened discussion about the book and translating it. Friends of the author attended. Click here for a photo sent on to the author.

front cover of African Titanics

Click here to read a review of the book in Banipal 52.
Click here to read a review in The National newspaper


19 March 2015

THE CORPSE WASHER
by Sinan Antoon
translated by the author

Winner of the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

Front cover of The Corpse Washer

Read the Tanjara Blogspot report on the 24 February celebration at Waterstone's Piccadilly with the author/translator Sinan Antoon


22 January 2015

The Arch and The Butterfly
by Mohammed Achaari
translated by Aida Bamia

Front cover of The Arch and The Butterfly

To read the review in Banipal 50, click here. The Arabic original jointly won the 2011 International Prize of Arabic Fiction.

2014

Other Lives

by Iman Humaydan
translated by Michelle Hartman

Front cover of Other Lives

House of the Wolf
by Ezzat El Kamhawi
translated by Nancy Roberts


Front cover of House of the Wolf

Entered for 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize

Banipal 49: A Cornucopia of Short Stories

Cover of Banipal 49

Purchase Banipal in PRINT or DIGITAL

The Silence and the Roar

by Nihad Sirees
translated by Max Weiss
 
The Silence and The Roar
 

 

2013

A Land Without Jasmine
by Wajdi al-Ahdal
translated by William M Hutchins, joint winner of the 2013 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

Front Cover of A Land Without Jasmine


Vertigo
by Ahmed Mourad
translated by Robin Moger

Vertigo front cover 


In Praise of Hatred
by Khaled Khalifa
translated by Leri Price

Front cover of In Praise of Hatred by Khaled Khalifa

Short Stories from the Arab World
- storytelling with Banipal Book Club at Kensington Central Library, at Nour Festival of the Arts

To read or download the stories, click here

Endings
by the late Abd al-Rahman Munif (1933-2004)
translated by Roger Allen 

Front cover of Endings by Abdulrahman Munif

Arabian Nights and Days
by Naguib Mahfouz
translated by Denys Johnson-Davies

 

cover of arabian nights and days


A Muslim Suicide

by Bensalem Himmich
translated by Roger Allen 

Front  cover of A Muslim Suicide


The Open Door
by Latifa al-Zayyat

The Open Door front cover



The Tiller of Waters
by Hoda Barakat
translated by Marilyn Booth

the tiller of waters 



The Journals of Sarab Affan
by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
translated by Ghassan Nasr

front cover of Sarab Affan 



Azazeel
by Youssef Ziedan
translated by Jonathan Wright

Azazeel front cover

 

 

 

 

 



Gold Dust
by Ibrahim al-Koni
translated by Elliott Colla

Gold Dust Front Cover


Out Of It
by Selma Dabbagh

Out of It cover

 

First Meeting
19th April 2012

The Tobacco Keeper
by Ali Bader
translated by Amira Noweira

 

The Tobacco Keeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our meetings have been featured in Brownbook and The National.