Fitzcarraldo takes on first Arabic language author with 'exciting' novel

Fitzcarraldo takes on first Arabic language author with 'exciting' novel

Fitzcarraldo Editions will publish the “exciting and ambitious” novelist Adania Shibli as its first Arabic-language author next year.

The independent press' publisher Jacques Testard has acquired world English rights to the Palestinian novelist’s novel, Minor Detail, to be published in 2019.

The book is billed as “a beautiful meditation on war, violence, memory, injustice, and the perennial suffering of the Palestinian people in the face of seemingly insuperable odds”.

Originally published in 2017 by Lebanese publishing house Al-Adab, Minor Detail revolves around a brutal crime committed during the war of 1948. Many years later, in the near-present day, a young woman in Ramallah embarks on a journey of discovery into the events surrounding that event, becoming fascinated by it to the point of obsession when she reads about it by chance.

Testard described the novel as “an intricately layered and devastating work of fiction”. 

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Adania Shibli – our first Arabic-language author – to Fitzcarraldo Editions. She is one of the most exciting and ambitious prose stylists writing in Arabic today and a stellar addition to our list."

Shibil was born in Palestine in 1974. Her novels, plays, short stories and narrative essays have been published in various anthologies, art books, and literary and cultural magazines. The first two novels have been translated into English as Touch (Clockroot Books, trans. Paula Haydar) in 2016 and We Are All Equally Far From Love (Clockroot Books, trans. Paul Starkey) in 2012. 

She was awarded the Young Writer’s Award by the A M Qattan Foundation in 2002 and 2004. Since 2013 she has been teaching at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University in Palestine.