i ne Ma bro uk i d
©Pho t o
Paul Blezard, Saud Alsanousi and Dima Alchukr
Launch of The Bamboo Stalk
Banipal’s second collaboration with Waterstone’s flagship Piccadilly store this year was held at the end of April – the launch of The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwaiti novelist Saud Alsanousi, whose Arabic original won the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Saud Alsanousi travelled from Kuwait especially for the event.His prizewinning novel confronts universal problems of identity, ethnicity and religion through its protagonist KuwaitiFilipino José (or Isa), born to a Filipino mother and Kuwaiti father whom he never met, when he travels to Kuwait to try to get to know his Kuwaiti family.
Saud Alsanousi was in conversation with Syrian critic and writer Dima Alchukr. Broadcaster and writer Paul Blezard introduced the evening and read a couple of short and poignant excerpts from the novel. Jonathan Wright, the book’s translator, was invited to join the speakers during the Q&A, and spoke about the challenge of translating a novel that had been written by the author in Arabic but which he presented as having been translated from the Filipino language of its protagonist. The Q&A was followed by a reception
220 BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015