Hawra Al-Nadawi (b. Baghdad 1984) immigrated with her family to Denmark in 1992 where she grew up. She published her first novel in Arabic, Under the Copenhagen Sky, in 2010, which was longlisted for IPAF and in 2012 was a contender for the Arabic Booker Prize. She followed that with her second novel Qismet, in 2017. Both novels deal with matters of identity and alienation, which are major themes in her works. Critics have pointed out that her works combine a poetic Arabic language, with a Western structure in the novelistic framework, conceivably because of her mixed upbringing and culture. Different mixed cultures were essential in her upbringing and education, as she was homeschooled in Arabic by her Arabic and Kurdish parents, alongside her education in the Danish schools. She studied linguistics and English literature and is fluent in four languages, in addition to three other languages with intermediate proficiency; yet she’s particularly interested in the oriental languages and their literature.
Alice Guthrie is an independent translator, editor, and curator specializing in contemporary Arabic writing. Widely published since 2008, her work has often focused on subaltern voices, activist art and queerness / queering (winning her the Jules Chametzky Translation Prize 2019). Her bilingual editorial and research is part of the growing movement to decolonize Arabic-English literary translation, its evaluation and publication. Blood Feast, her translation of the complete short stories of the maverick Moroccan gender activist and literary genius Malika Moustadraf, was published by Feminist Press NYC and Saqi London in February 2022. Alice has programmed the literary strand of London’s biennale “Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture” since 2015, and has curated Arab arts events for Edinburgh International Book Festival and Arts Canteen. She occasionally teaches undergraduate and postgraduate Arabic-English translation at various universities including the University of Birmingham and the University of Exeter.