Wajdi al-Ahdal

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Wajdi al-Ahdal (born 1973) is a Yemeni novelist, short story writer and playwright. He was born near Bajil in the province of Hadida and studied at the University of Sanaa. Ahdal has published four novels, four collections of short stories, a play and a film screenplay.[1]

In 2002-03, Ahdal's novel Qawarib Jabaliya (Mountain Boats) created a considerable amount of controversy in Yemen and he was forced to leave the country due to threats from radical conservatives. He spent some time in Lebanon before returning to Yemen. A more recent novel The Quarantine Philosopher was nominated for the Arab Booker Prize in 2008. In 2010, Ahdal was selected as one of the Beirut39, a group of 39 Arab writers under the age of 40 chosen through a contest organised by Banipal magazine and the Hay Festival. He was also chosen by IPAF to be one of the seven participants in its writers' workshop (nadwa).[2]

Ahdal's work has appeared in English translation in a number of anthologies:

  • Oranges in the Sun: Contemporary Short Stories from the Arabian Gulf (2006)
  • Beirut 39: New Writing from the Arab World (2010)
  • Emerging Arab Voices: Nadwa 1: A Bilingual Reader (2011)
  • Banipal 36: Literature in Yemen Today

His novel A Land without Jasmine was translated into English by William M. Hutchins and published by Garnet Publishing in 2012.[3] The translation won the 2013 Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.[4]

He currently works in the cinema and drama department of the Yemeni Ministry of Culture.

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