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Fiction from Kuwait

The Summer 2013 issue of Banipal is dedicated to fiction from Kuwait. It features contemporary writing from 17 Kuwaiti authors, all from ranging backgrounds: Sulaiman al-Shatti, Ismail Fahd Ismail, Suleiman al-Khalifi, Fatima Yousif al-Ali, Laila al-Othman, Waleed al-Rajeeb, Taleb Alrefai, Thuraya al-Baqsami, Fawziya Shuwaish al-Salem, Bothayna al-Essa, Saud al-Sanousi, Yousef Khalifa, Basima al-Enezi, Ali Hussain al-Felkawi, Hameady Hamood, and Mona al-Shammar.

“This issue of Banipal has required an enormous amount of time and effort, more, in fact, than any previous issue,” writes Editor Samuel Shimon. “In the early years of Banipal, perhaps around 2001, we began debating the idea of producing a feature dedicated to Kuwaiti literature. After some deliberation, we decided to save the idea for later. On the one hand, Kuwaiti literary production still appeared to be dominated by a preoccupation with the effects of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the country’s subsequent liberation. Overall, they represented a direct reaction to the crime committed by the Arab neighbor. On the other hand, we did not perceive any new ‘ faces’ emerging on the literary scene, and had already published a number of Kuwaiti authors individually . . .

“From 2005 to the present day, however, it is fair to say that many new literary talents have emerged, particularly in the novel and short story genres . . . In the summer of 2012, the idea . . . was raised once again, this time by celebrated Kuwaiti author Taleb Alrefai. . . I remember telling him that, for Banipal to produce such an issue, I would have to visit the country, in order to experience its literary scene directly and meet with its authors . . .”

That following December, the Cultural Circle invited him to visit, and once he returned they spent a great deal of time selecting pieces for this issue. He writes, “It is a great pleasure to present this wonderful selection of Kuwaiti literature to you and I hope you enjoy reading it.”

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