• An Open Letter in Support of Adania Shibli From More Than 350 Writers, Editors, and Publishers

    “They are closing out the space for a Palestinian voice.”

    This letter was originally published by ArabLit.

    The shocking and tragic events that began on October 7th and are ongoing today have had repercussions all over the globe, including within the publishing world. Award-winning Palestinian author Adania Shibli, who was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for her book Minor Detail (New Directions/Fitzcarraldo, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette), was to receive Germany’s 2023 LiBeraturpreis for the same book, published in German as Eine Nebensache (Berenberg Verlag, translated by Günther Orth) at the 2023 Frankfurt Book Fair, which begins this week.

    On October 13, the organizers of the prize, Litprom, which is funded in part by the German government and the Frankfurt Book Fair, released a statement saying that the prize-giving ceremony would no longer take place at the book fair.

    In addition, a public discussion with Adania Shibli and her translator Günther Orth at the book fair has also been canceled.

    The statement originally said that this decision had been made in accordance with the author’s wishes, which was then relayed, without verification, by an article in The New York Times (now corrected). This is untrue; Adania Shibli has said the decision was not made with her, she was presented with the decision. If the ceremony were to have gone ahead, she said, she would have taken the opportunity to reflect on the role of literature in these cruel and painful times. (Litprom and The New York Times have since made corrections.)

    Shibli’s US publisher, Barbara Epler of New Directions, wrote a letter to the editor of The New York Times, which we excerpt here:

    With the unbelievable heartbreak that is now being suffered on all sides, it serves no one to put forward falsehoods, especially about the author of a novel about the Nakba that is so historically true.

    To cancel the ceremony and so try to silence the voice of Adania Shibli —“due to the war in Israel”—is cowardly.

    But to say Shibli agreed (amid all the suffering in Gaza) is worse.

    At a time when the fair has issued a statement saying it wants to make Israeli voices “especially visible at the fair,” they are closing out the space for a Palestinian voice.

    While Shibli’s Minor Detail has been smeared as being anti-Semitic by two journalists and literary editors, other serious literary critics have clearly refuted this in the German press and elsewhere. The book makes reference to well-documented events related to the rape of a Bedouin girl in 1949 by an Israeli army unit.

    Shibli’s UK publisher, Jacques Testard of Fitzcarraldo, writes, “One of the purposes of literature is to encourage understanding and dialogue between cultures. At a time of such horrific violence and heartbreak, the world’s biggest book fair has a duty to champion literary voices from Palestine and Israel. We stand in solidarity with Adania Shibli and her German publishers, Berenberg Verlag.”

    In this spirit, those of us involved in writing, translation, and publishing strongly assert that canceling cultural events is not the way forward. We recall the Frankfurt book fair supporting Turkish publishers, and how last year Ukrainian president Zelensky spoke to the fair in a pre-recorded address. The Frankfurt Book Fair has a responsibility, as a major international book fair, to be creating spaces for Palestinian writers to share their thoughts, feelings, reflections on literature through these terrible, cruel times, not shutting them down.

    We need to look for new language and new ideas in order to approach these bleak times in a new way. For this, we need writers—including Palestinian writers—more than ever.




    Rana Idriss, Dar al-Adab, Arabic publisher of Minor Detail

    Ana Paula Hisayama, Todavia, Brazilian publisher of Minor Detail

    Chris de Jong, Koppernik, publisher of Minor Detail in the Netherlands

    Daniel Álvarez, Hoja de Lata Editorial, Spanish publisher of Minor Detail

    Laura Sandoval, publisher, Hoja de Lata Editorial, Asturies

    Djûke Poppinga, Dutch translator of Minor Detail

    Elisabeth Jaquette, English translator of Minor Detail

    Elisabetta Sgarbi, publisher, La Nave di Teseo, Italian publisher of Minor Detail

    Günther Orth, German translator of Minor Detail

    Salvador Peña Martín, Spanish translator of Minor Detail

    Safa Jubran, Brazilian Portuguese translator of Minor Detail

    Jonathan Morén, Swedish translator of Minor Detail

    Farouk Mardam-Bey, Actes Sud/Sindbad, French publisher of Minor Detail

    Halfdan Freihow, Cappelen Damm, publisher of Minor Detail in Norway

    Jacques Testard, Fitzcarraldo, UK publisher of Minor Detail

    Johannes Holmqvist, Tranan, publisher of Minor Detail in Sweden

    Mehmet Hakkı Suçin, Turkish translator of Minor Detail

    Michael Heyward, Publisher, The Text Publishing Company, Australia and New Zealand publisher of Minor Detail

    Monica Ruocco, Italian translator of Minor Detail

    Penny Hueston, Senior Editor, The Text Publishing Company, Australia and New Zealand publisher of Minor Detail

    Şirin Etik, managing editor, Canyayinlari, Turkish publisher of Minor Detail

    Stefanos Batsis of Plithos, Greek publisher of Minor Detail

    Stéphanie Dujols, French translator of Minor Detail


    Simona Gabrieli, publisher Alifbata

    Joyelle McSweeney and Johannes Göransson, editors, Action Books

    Stefan Tobler, publisher, And Other Stories

    Tara Tobler, senior editor, And Other Stories

    Michael Watson, UK Publicist, And Other Stories

    María Rán Guðjónsdóttir, publisher, Angústúra

    Jill Schoolman, publisher, Archipelago Books

    Gianni Schilardi, publisher, Argo Editrice, Italian publisher of Sensi (Touch) and of the collection of short stories Pallidi segni di quiete 

    Askold Melnyczuk, editor, Arrowsmith Press

    Diane Mehta, poet, Arrowsmith Press

    Brian Lam, publisher, Arsenal Pulp Press

    Rachel Levitsky, publisher, Belladonna* Collaborative

    Jan Marti, publisher, Blackie Books

    Neil Astley, editor & managing director, Bloodaxe Books Ltd

    Francisco Vilhena, translator and managing editor, Bloomsbury

    Kevin Duffy, publisher, Bluemoose Books

    Hazel Millar, co-publisher, Book*hug Press

    Gavin Everall, director, publishing, Book Works

    Jamie Byng, publisher, Canongate Books

    Kendall Store, editor-in-chief Catapult Books

    Mark Haber, Director of Marketing, Coffee House Press

    Jeremy M. Davies, Executive Editor, Coffee House Press

    Ra Page and Basma Ghalayini, publishers, Comma Press

    Farhana Shaikh, publisher, Dahlia Books

    Firoze Manji, Daraja Press

    Marigold Atkey, publisher Daunt Books

    Noah M. Mintz, marketing coordinator, Deep Vellum

    Sarah McEachern, Rights Director, Deep Vellum

    David Richardson, editor, dispersed holdings

    Monika Lustig van Diesen, Publisher Edition Converso, Karlsruhe / Germany

    Stephan Trudewind, publisher, Edition Orient, Berlin

    Mylène Bouchard, Literary director, Editions La Peuplade

    Martina Testa, Edizioni SUR, Italy

    John Hatt, Eland Books

    Eugene Lim, publisher, Ellipsis Press

    Kenza Sefrioui, editor, En Toutes Lettres, Morocco

    Emmie Francis, editor at Faber and Faber

    Tiziana Triana, editor-in-chief of Fandango Libri, (Rome)

    Fabio Muzi Falconi, editor, Feltrinelli

    Sasha, Achille and Renae, publishers, 5ever Books

    Nii Ayikwei Parkes, writer, publisher, flipped eye publishing

    Simón Vázquez, publisher Ediciones Akal, Spain

    Ariadna Akal, publisher Ediciones Akal, Spain

    Esther Prieto, publisher Trabe Editorial, Asturies

    Samuel Castro, publisher Trabe Editorial, Asturies

    Zacarías Lara, publisher Barrett Editorial, Spain

    Manuel Burraco, publisher Barrett Editorial, Spain

    Ana Roza, publisher Delallama Editorial, Asturies

    Daniel Moreno, publisher Capitán Swing, Spain

    Laura Huerga, publisher Raig Verd Editorial, Catalonia

    Almudena Cardeñoso, publisher Duermevela Editorial, Asturies

    Rebeca Cardeñoso, publisher, Duermevela Editorial, Asturies

    Hassan Ali, Faber Factory Manager, Faber & Faber

    Tamara Sampey-Jawad, Associate Publisher, Fitzcarraldo Editions

    Donatella Ianuzzi, publisher, Gallo Nero Editorial, Spain

    Daniel Osca, publisher Sajalín Editores, Catalonia

    Seif Salmawy, publisher, Al Karma Publishers

    Mikel Buldain, publisher Txalaparta Liburuak, Basque Country

    Garazi Arrula, editor Txalaparta Liburuak, Basque Country

    Ane Eslava editor Txalaparta Liburuak, Basque Country

    Kishani Widyaratna, publisher, 4th Estate

    Alan Giagnocavo, CEO and publisher, Fox Chapel Publishing

    Dan Machlin, executive editor, Futurepoem

    Barbara Schwepcke, publisher, Gingko Books

    Jason Arthur, Associate Publishing Director, Granta Books

    Ethan Nosowsky, Graywolf Press

    Federica Manzon, writer, editorial director of the Italian publishing house Guanda

    Ami Tian, Hachette Book Group

    Julie Fain, publisher, Haymarket Books

    Beatrice Merz, director of hopefulmonster publishing house

    Michel S. Moushabeck, publisher, Interlink Publishing

    Norm Nehmetallah, publisher, Invisible Publishing

    Andrea Morstabilini, editor, Iperborea

    Cristina Gerosa, editorial director, Iperborea

    Marco Agosta, Iperborea

    Pietro Biancardi, publisher, Iperborea

    Hazal Baydur, foreign rights, İthaki Yayınları

    Helena Cobban, CEO, Just World Books

    Emily Dewhurst, Kitchen Press

    Nasim Mawji, Kitchen Press

    Karam Youssef, publisher, Al Kotob Khan for Publishing

    Lorenzo Ribaldi, publisher, La Nuova Frontiera – Italy

    Maria Leonardi, acquiring editor, La Nuova Frontiera

    Simón Vázquez, Manifest Llibres, Catalonia

    E. Tracy Grinnell, publisher, Litmus Press

    Adrian and Gracie Cooper, publishers, Little Toller Books and Pineapple Lane

    Adam Shatz, writer, US editor of The London Review of Books

    Brian Lewis, publisher, Longbarrow Press

    Alexandre Sanchez, Lux Éditeur

    Katharina Bielenberg, Publisher, MacLehose Press

    Yara El Ghadban, author and editor, Mémoire d’encrier, Montréal

    Anita Magno, editor, Mesogea, Italy

    Abid Nouri, Med Ali editions (Tunisie)

    Müge Sökmen, Metis Publishers

    Daniel Slager, publisher & CEO, Milkweed Editions

    Valeria Bergalli, publisher, Minúscula

    Laura di Pietro, Editora Tabla, Brazil

    Archna Sharma, publisher, Neem Tree Press

    Jeffrey Yang, editor, New Directions

    Tynan Kogane, senior editor, New Directions

    Edwin Frank, editor, New York Review Books

    Susan Barba, senior editor, New York Review Books

    Susan C Wilson, writer

    Stephen Motika, director & publisher, Nightboat Books

    Azadeh Parsapour, Nogaam publishing

    Andrea Gessner, publisher Nottetempo

    Judith Gurewich, publisher, Other Press

    John Oakes, OR Books

    Zainab Juma, Head of Brand, Penguin Books UK

    Kaliane Bradley, writer and commissioning editor at Penguin Press

    Mary Mount, publisher, Picador

    Richard Porter, editor, Pilot Press

    Neda Tehrani, commissioning editor, Pluto Press

    Ramsey Kanaan, publisher, PM Press

    Kyle Dacuyan, Executive Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s

    Valentina Parlato, foreign rights QUODLIBET publishing house, Italy

    Severino Antonelli, Rizzoli foreign fiction editor, Italy

    Kapil Kapoor, Managing Director, Roli Books, India

    James Sherry, editor, Roof Books

    Lynn Gaspard, publisher Saqi Books

    Elizabeth Briggs, Editorial Director, Saqi Books

    Sara Hunt, publisher, Saraband

    Naveen Kishore, publisher, Seagull Books

    Mohamed El-Baaly, Sefsafa Publishing (Egypt)

    Hedi El Kholti, publisher, Semiotext(e)

    Dan Simon, publisher, Seven Stories Press

    Allison Tamarkin Paller, Seven Stories Press

    Tal Mancini, Seven Stories Press

    James Webster, Seven Stories Press

    Sarah Shin, Director, Silver Press

    Stuart Debar, Creative Director, SRL Publishing

    Kristen Vida Alfaro, director, Tilted Axis Press

    Nuzhat Abbas, publisher/director of trace press

    Adam Levy, publisher, Transit Books

    Ashley Nelson Levy, publisher, Transit Books

    Michael Holtmann, Center for the Art of Translation | Two Lines Press

    CJ Evans, editor in chief, Two Lines Press

    Anna Moschovakis, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Daniel Owen, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Kyra Simone, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Lee Norton, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Marine Cornuet, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Michael Newton, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Milo Wippermann, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Rebekah Smith, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Serena Solin, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Silvina Lopez Medin, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Yelena Gluzman, Ugly Duckling Presse

    Aliya Gulamani, Commissioning Editor at Unbound

    Leo Hollis, Verso Books, London

    Tim Thomas, Verso Books, NYC

    Ritu Menon, publisher, Women Unlimited

    Ayrıntı Yayınları Publishing House, Turkey

    Ellah P. Wakatama, publisher and literary critic


    Nicole Aragi, literary agent, Aragi Inc.

    Christine Tohmeh, Director of Ashkal Alwan

    Samar Hammam, Rocking Chair Book Literary Agency

    Yasmine Jraissati, literary agent, RAYA Agency

    Laura Susijn, literary agent, The Susijn Agency Ltd

    Iwalani Kim, literary agent, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates

    Rasha Salti, Commissioning Editor, Arte France

    Léopold Lambert, editor-in-chief, The Funambulist

    Rima Rantisi, Editor, Rusted Radishes

    Christopher Merrill, Director, International Writing Program, The University of Iowa

    Yasemin Çongar, founder, Istanbul Literature House

    Olivia Maidment, literary agent, Madeleine Milburn Agency

    Akin Akinwumi, founder, Willenfield Literary Agency

    Jeffrey Pethybridge, poet, Director, Summer Writing Program, Naropa University

    Zeina Maasri academic (UK) and editor @ Journal of Visual Culture

    John Freeman, editor, Freeman’s

    Peter Straus, RCW Literary Agency

    Laurence Laluyaux, RCW Literary Agency

    Safae El-Ouahabi, Associate, RCW Literary Agency

    Anna Soler-Pont, Pontas literary and film agency

    Merve Diler, Kalem Agency

    Nermin Mollaoğlu, founder, Kalem Agency

    Ayser Ali, Ayser Ali Agency

    Hans Petter Bakketeig, Stilton Literary Agency, Norway

    Pierre Astier, Laure Pécher, Astier-Pécher Literary Agency

    Angelique Tran Van Sang, Felicity Bryan Associates

    Sana Goyal, Deputy Editor, Wasafiri magazine

    Emily Mercer, Editor and Publishing Director, Wasafiri magazine

    Jessica Craig, Craig Literary Agency

    Maddalena Vaglio Tanet, author and scout at De Stefano Literary Scouting

    Maria Moschioni, literary scout

    Brianna Zimmerman | Senior Scout Mary Anne Thompson Associates

    Bhakti Shringarpure, writer & editor, co-founder of Radical Books Collective

    Chiara Comito, Editoriaraba and Arabpop

    Jim Hicks, executive editor, The Massachusetts Review

    Nausikaa Angelotti, editor, Specimen

    Vanni Bianconi, writer, editor at Specimen

    Valentina Parlato, foreign rights, QUODLIBET

    Lydia Wilson, editor New Lines magazine

    Negar Azimi, writer, and editor-in-chief, Bidoun

    Anna Della Subin, author and editor, Bidoun

    Alexandra Büchler, Literature Across Frontiers

    Sina Najafi, Editor-in-chief of Cabinet: A Magazine of Art and Culture

    William Pierce, writer and co editor of AGNI

    Shuchi Saraswat, writer and Senior Editor at AGNI 

    Matvei Yankelevich, editor, World Poetry Books

    Marcia Lynx Qualey, founder Arablit and Arablit Quarterly

    Mairi Oliver, owner, Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh

    Nadia Saeed, Translation and International Officer, English PEN

    Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company

    Rafel Arias, bookseller

    Guillermo Granado, bookseller

    Oriol Díaz, bookseller

    Verónica Piñera, bookseller

    Luis Gallego, bookseller

    Mahmoud Muna, Educational Bookshop, Jerusalem

    Ángel de la Calle, Illustrator and Semana Negra Literary Festival Director, Spain

    Paloma Saiz, Zócalo International Book Fair Director, Mexico

    Kholod Saghir, Artistic Director, Uppsala International literary festival, Sweden

    Windy Ariestanty, patjarmerah, the traveling literacy festival and book market, Indonesia

    Louise Adler, director, Adelaide Writers’ Week

    Ilke Froyen, Director Passa Porta International Festival of Literature

    Pierce Alquist, director, Transnational Literature Series


    Khalid Abdalla, actor

    Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies

    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, critic

    Abdulrazak Gurnah, author

    Annie Ernaux, author

    Sophie Mackintosh, author

    Olga Tokarczuk, author

    Xiaolu Guo, author and filmmaker

    Julia Armfield, author

    Anne Enright, author

    Valeria Luiselli, author

    Evie Wyld, author

    Simone Buchholz, novelist, Germany

    Noreen Masud, author

    Nadifa Mohamed, author

    Juliet Jacques, writer and filmmaker

    Deepa Anappara, author

    Pankaj Mishra, author

    Etan Nechin, writer

    Heather Parry, author

    John McGregor, author

    Mohammed El-Kurd, writer

    Nikesh Shukla, author

    Edmund Gordon, author

    Dur e Aziz Amna, author

    Jenna Clake, author

    Wajdi al-Ahdal, author

    Shannon Chakraborty, author

    Samuel Fisher, author

    Emily Kenway, author

    Jay Gao, author

    Rabih Alameddine, author

    Jay Bernard, writer

    Katie Goh, author

    Niamh Campbell, author

    Yan Ge, author

    Tawseef Khan, author

    Roisin Dunnet, author

    Kit Fan, author

    Kathryn Bromwich, author

    Eliza Clark, author

    Jared Daniel Fagen, author

    Sarah Bernstein, writer

    Tatiana Salem Levy, author

    Daniel Trilling, author

    Sarah Bernstein, author

    Annalena McAfee, author

    Sinead Gleeson, author

    Elaine Feeney, author

    Megan Nolan, author

    Francesca Wade, author

    Alice Slater, author

    Sarvat Hasin, author

    Alycia Pirmohamed, author

    Mathelinda Nabugodi, author

    Maaza Mengiste, author

    Kamila Shamsie, author

    Wallace Shawn, actor and playwright

    Rosie Bsheer, Associate Professor of History, Harvard University

    William Dalrymple, author

    Fatima Bhutto, author

    Isabella Hammad, novelist

    Gillian Slovo, novelist and playwright

    Colm Tóibín author

    Tim Winton, author

    Olga Ravn, author

    Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin, author

    Don Mee Choi, poet

    Haytham El-Wardany, author

    Philippe Sands, author

    Hisham Matar, author

    Ahdaf Soueif, author

    Rawi Hage, author

    Yasmine Seale, translator

    Naomi Shihab Nye, poet

    Molly Crabapple, author and artist

    Leila Aboulela, writer

    Naomi Klein, author

    Judith Butler, author

    Eliot Weinberger, writer

    K Patrick, poet and writer

    Seán Hewitt, author

    Jason Okundaye, author

    Aidan Cottrell Boyce, author

    Ryan Gilbey, author

    Paul Bailey, author

    Ali Millar, author

    Maxine Peake, author and actor

    Madeleine Thien, author

    Caryl Churchill, playwright

    Ben Ehrenreich, author

    Sunny Singh, writer

    James Schamus, film producer, director, and screenwriter

    Hassan Abdulrazzak, playwright

    Yasmin El-Rifae, writer

    Marina Warner, author

    Richard Flanagan, author

    Robert Neuwirth, writer

    Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, translator

    Anton Shammas, author

    Saleem Haddad, author

    Samar Yazbek, author

    Adam Thirlwell, author

    Mohamed Kheir, author

    Hari Kunzru, author

    Ammiel Alcalay, poet and scholar

    Solmaz Sharif, poet

    Françoise Vergès, writer, producer, and scholar

    Nicholas Blincoe, author

    Monisha Rajesh, author

    Mazen Maarouf, author

    Anne Boyer, poet and essayist

    Semih Gümüş, author

    Daisy Lafarge, author

    Kia Corthron, U.S. novelist and playwright

    Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Professor of Modern Culture & Media and Comparative Literature, Brown University

    Elias Sanbar, writer, essayist and translator of Mahmoud Darwish to French

    Mohammad Al Attar, Syrian writer / playwright

    Ahmet Nesin, writer

    Sarah Riggs, poet, co-director of Tamaas

    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emeritus and author

    Eyal Weizman, author and architect

    Anthony Vahni Capildeo, Trinidadian-Scottish poet and prose writer

    Sema Kaygusuz, author

    Eva Menasse, novelist, Berlin

    Mirza Waheed, writer

    Iman Mersal, poet and writer

    Zahra Moloo, journalist

    Suzanne Joinson, author

    Rani Selvarajah, author

    Sharon Duggal, writer

    Geo Maher, writer and educator

    Rodrigo Hasbún, author

    Laila Hourani, Palestinian/Syrian novelist

    Courttia Newland, author

    Jacqueline Feldman, writer

    Julia Bell, author

    Gregory Norminton, author

    Jude Brown, novelist

    Alexander Chee, author

    More Story
    Check out 24 excellent new books out today. It's the middle of October already, and, if time shows no sign of slowing, the same is true for the pace of new books coming...
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