'Beirut39' is a Hay Festival project which aims to select and celebrate 39 of the best young Arab writers as a centrepiece of the Beirut World Capital festivities in April 2010. Following the successful launch of 'Bogota 39', which identified many of the most interesting upcoming Latin American talents, including Wendy Guerra, Junot Diaz (Pulitzer Prize), Santiago Roncagliolo and Juan Gabriel Vasquez (short-listed for the IFFP), 'Beirut 39' will bring to worldwide attention the best work from the Arab world. The judges will select from more than 300 submissions and the writers' names will be unveiled in September 2009. The book will be published in English throughout the world (except the Arab world) by Bloomsbury, and in Arabic throughout the world and in English in the Arab World by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing.
Major international promotion based round the launch of 'Beirut 39' at the Hay Festival in Beirut, 15-18 April 2010 (www.hayfestival.com/beirut39) Introduction by Amin Maalouf, one of the most respected writers in the Arab world today, will help secure wide review coverage Promotion throughout the year of publication involving the Hay Festival, the British Council, Arts Council England, English PEN and International PEN
PRAISE FOR 'BEIRUT39' 'Beirut 39 is an amazing cultural initiative for talented young Arab writers. It offers them a vital platform to meet and interact, provides them with a prestigious international exposure, and allows their voices and writing talents to reach a well deserved wider audience. What better way to celebrate Beirut world capital of the book?' Tahar Ben jelloun PRAISE FOR BOGOTA39 'Bogota39 brought together some of the most outstanding Latin American writers under the age of 40. And it confirmed a new breed of author: children of cultural cross-breeding and cosmopolitan heritage with a global outlook. They comprise a panorama of uninhibited and polyphonic voices reinvigorating the short story form as well as the novel.' El Pais