Book Reading & Discussion: Book Reading/Discussion with Gamal el-Ghitani

Thu, June 14, 2007 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan For The Arts Presents:

Book Reading/Discussion with Gamal el-Ghitani

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 7:00 PM Free and open to the public Refreshment will be served

Perhaps one of the Arab world most prominent novelists, writers and intellectuals, Gamal el-Ghitani will read from some of his books and discuss the current intellectual and political context of Egypt and the Arab world. Gamal el-Ghitani is the author of over 60 books and has recently won the Grand French Award for translated literature "Lora Betlouine", which is the highest French award to be bestowed upon non-French writers. He is entitled for this award due to his literal work "al-Tagalyat illuminations" published by "Editions du Seuil" as "Livre des Illuminations", which was launched at the Institute du Mond Arabe in Paris, February last 2005 in 900 pages. El Ghitani was born in May 1945 in Sohag, Upper Egypt. He is the current chief-editor of Akhbar El Adab weekly newspaper, and author of some of the greatest novels published nowadays. Gamal El Ghitani can be considered as a self-made man, who started reading and writing at an early age. He wrote his first short story in 1959 with the titled "Nehait El Sakeer/The end of the Drunk", which was published in 1963 in Aladeeb Lebanese magazine in the same month in which he wrote a study on the book "The Soul Story" by Leon Adel. Al-Ghitani wrote his first short story when he was fourteen years old, and made his real start as a writer of short stories and novels in the 1960s. His journalistic and literary texts have appeared in Egyptian and Lebanese newspapers since 1963. In 1966/67 he was held in a prison camp for six months due to his critical position towards President Nasser. He subsequently found work as a clerk at the Artists' Trade Union at the Khan al-Khalili bazaar in Cairo. Later, he turned to journalism in Dar Akhbar al-Yom and he is currently chief-editor of the weekly Literature News magazine. Al-Ghitani lectured at numerous universities world-wide, and participated in many international conferences. In 2004, he was the guest of honor at the International Frankfurt Book Fair. He speaks Arabic and English, and lives in Cairo. He was one of the founders of "Gallery 68", the literary magazine which soon became the mouthpiece of the writers of his generation. His work is a search for man's place in the universe and in the dimension of time. His fascination with Medieval Arabic writings, especially the work of Ibn Iyas, the Egyptian historian, was reflected in his great historical novel Zayni Barakat. Zayni Barakat (Penguin, 1988) is a post-modern historical novel of the first order. Like the Gulf writer Abdul-Rahman Munif's Cities of Salt trilogy, al-Ghitani is a fly in the Arab nationalist ointment. Such literary output is firm evidence that the Arab world does contain the seeds for its own renaissance. It is the first time for an Arab writer to achieve this senior award, which was delivered to al-Ghitani in a big celebration, in which Pierre Le Ginyo, member of the French Academy, announced the victory of Al-Tagalyat in a unanimous vote with no rival in the final qualifications, for it has multi-standard and dimensions.

A selection of his works

Some of his short stories collections Awraq Shab Asha mundhu Alf Am Cairo: dar el-Tali'a, 1969 Jerusalem: Dar Salah el-Din, 1975 Beirut: dar el-Muassira, 1980 Cairo: G.E.B.O, 1991

Ard .. Ard Cairo: G.E.B.O, 1972 and 1991 Beirut: dar el-Muassira, 1980

Al-Hisar min Thalath Jihat Damascus: Itihad el-Kuttab el-Arab, 1975 Beirut: dar el-Muassira, 1980 Cairo: G.E.B.O, 1991

Hikayat el-Gharib Cairo: Dar Mijallat el-Itha'a wal Telvision (Radio& TV Union), 1976, 1980

Dhikr ma Jara Cairo: Madbuli, 1978 Beirut: Dar al-Masira, 1980 Cairo: G.E. B. 0, 1991

Ithaf aI-Zaman bi-Hikayat Jalbi al-Sultan Cairo: Dar al-Mustaqbal al-'Arabi, 1985 Thimar al Waqt, 1990

Min Daftar al-'Ishq wal-Ghurba Cairo: G.E. B. 0., 1993. Series: Mukhtarat Fusul

Naftha Masdur Kuwait: Dar Su'ad al-Sabah, 1993

Shatf al-Nar Cairo: aI-ilay'at al-'Amma li-Qusur al-Thaqafa, 1996

Muntasaf Layl al-Ghurba Cairo: G.E. B. 0, 1984. Series: Mukhtarat Fusul

Ahrash al-Madina Cairo: Mu' assassat Akhbar al-Yawm, 1985

Novellas al-Zuwayl Baghdad: Wizarat al-I'lam, 1975 Beirut: dar el-Muassira, 1980 Cairo: Maktabat Madbuli, 1987

Novels Al- Zayni Barakat Damascus: Wizarat al-Thaqafa wal Irshad al-Qawmi, 1974 Cairo: Madbuli, 1975 Cairo: Dar al-Mustaqbal al-'Arabi, 1985 Dar al-Shuruq, 198 Tunis: Dar al-Junub, 1991 Baghdad: Dar al-Shu'un al-Thaqifiyya, 1991

Shath al-Madina Cairo: Dar al-Hilal, 1990. Series: Riwayat al-Hilal Cairo: Dar alShuruq 1991

Waqi'i' Harat al-Za'farani Cairo: Dar al-Thaqafat al-Jadida, 1976 Cairo: Madbuli, 1986 and 1991 Baghdad: Dar al-Shu'un al-Thaqifiyya, 1987

al-Rifai Cairo: G.E. B. 0, 1977 Beirut: dar el-Muassira, 1980 Cairo: G.E.B.O, 1991

Khitat al-Ghitani Beirut: dar el-Muassira, 1980 Cairo G.E.B.O 1991

Risala min al-Sababa wal Wajd Cairo: Dar al-Hilal, 1988 Cairo: Madbuli , 1990

Risilat al-Basi'ir fi al-Masi'ir Cairo: Dar al-Hilal, 1989 Cairo: Madbuli, 1991

Ha-tif al-Maghib Cairo: Dar al-Hilal, 1992

Mutun al-Ahram Cairo: Dar Sharqiyyat, 1994

Other Literary Writings Kitab al-Tajaliyyat 3 Volumes Cairo: Dar al-Mustaqbal al-Arabi, 1983-6 vol1: Beirut: Dar al-Wihdat al-'Arabiyya 3 Vols. together: Cairo: Dar al-Shuruq, 1990

Asfar al-Asfar Kuwait: Dar Su' ad al-Sabah, 1992. Series: Rahlat

Asfar al-Mushtaq Kuwait: Dar Su' ad al-Sabah, 1992

In Translation Zayni Barakat (London: Viking, 1988) Translated by Faruq 'Abd al-Wahab. This novel has also been translated into 10 languages and was the first Arabic novel to be published by Penguin Books.

Waqi'i' Harat al-Za 'farani has also been translated into English (Cairo: G.E. B. 0) and German.

Risilat al-Basi'ir fi al-Masa'ir has been translated into French as Epitre des Destinees (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1993) Translated by Edwige Lambert.

Several of his short stories have been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

His short story Tanin (originally in al-Ithaa wal television, 1970) was included in Egyptian Tales and Short Stories of the 1970s and 1980s, edited by W. M. Hutchins (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1987). His complete works up to 1980 were published in Beirut by Dar el-Masira. His collected works were published in Cairo in 6 volumes by the G.E.B.O, 1990-6

Last updated: 2007-09-12 07:47:24

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