The British Council, in partnership with the Sharjah Book Authority, has announced the Sharjah Market Focus Cultural Programme for The London Book Fair 2020, featuring 12 prominent writers from the UAE.
Among those appearing is Afra Atiq, a market focus author of the day and a rising star of the UAE literary scene with her modern take on Nabati or "the people’s poetry".
Khulood Al Mu’alla and Khalid Albudoor, two of the region’s most respected poets, and children’s writer Dubai Abulhoul also form part of the line-up.
Events will explore Emirati writing and its place within the canon of Arabic literature, with talks addressing the influence of fairytales and folklore in Emirati writing, the use of Arabic language and dialect, and the region’s long-standing poetry tradition. Other talks explore the challenges and opportunities of Arabic translation and literary initiatives in the UAE.
Alongside appearances at LBF on 10th–12th March there will also be discussions and talks at the British Library and National Poetry Library.
Rachel Stevens, director of literature at the British Council, said: "This year’s British Council market focus cultural programme highlights the indigenous Nabati poetry of the Gulf region, contemporary Arabic language and the role of dialect in fiction. We continue our support for literary translation networks by bringing our Arabic translation workshop to the London Book Fair, featuring a not-to-be-missed translation slam at the Literary Translation Centre.
"The British Council is delighted to be working with the London Book Fair and the Sharjah Book Authority on this programme, and we hope that publishers, translators, writers and anyone with an interest in the Gulf or Arab culture will engage with these exceptional writers, to help us better understand each other and build lasting connections for the future."