Palestine Writes: A Conversation with Leading Palestinian Novelists Ibtisam Azem, susan abulhawa, and Yamila Hussein-Shannan (SEAPORT)

In advance of the Palestine Writes Literature Festival, two participating authors, both renowned novelists, will share the stage to read from their works and talk about the upcoming first ever Palestinian literature festival in North America.

Renowned authors susan abulhawa and Ibtisam Azem will read from their latest novels and speak on a panel moderated by educator Yamila Hussein-Shannan. 


Ibtisam Azem is a Palestinian short story writer, novelist, and journalist, based in New York. She was born and raised in Taybeh, near Jaffa, the city from which her mother and maternal grandparents were internally displaced in 1948. She is a senior correspondent for the Arabic daily al-Araby al-Jadeed. She is co-editor at Jadaliyya e-zine. Ibtisam Azem has published two novels in Arabic: Sariq al-Nawm (The Sleep Thief, 2011) and Sifr al-Ikhtifaa (The Book of Disappearance, 2014), both by Dar al-Jamal (Beirut, Lebanon). The Book of Disappearance, translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon, was published by Syracuse University Press in July 2019. Some of her writings have been translated and published in French, German, English and Hebrew appeared in several anthologies and journals. She is working on her third novel and pursuing an MA in Social Work from NYU's Silver school. 

susan abulhawa is a novelist, poet, political analyst and activist. Her first novel, Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury 2010), was a groundbreaking achievement in anglophile Palestinian literature. It became an international bestseller, translated in 28 languages and made abulhawa one of the most widely read Arab authors in the world. Her second novel , The Blue Between Sky and Water (Bloomsbury 2015), likewise achieved critical acclaim and was translated into 20 languages. Other works by abulhawa include a poetry collection entitled My Voice Sought The Wind (Just World Books 2013) and numerous anthology contributions. Her forthcoming novel, Against the Loveless World, will be published by Simon & Schuster in August 2020.

Dr. Yamila Hussein-Shannan is a scholar, an educator, an activist and public speaker dedicated to social-economic and political justice. Her work examines matrices of oppression and liberation particularly institutionalized and structural supremacy, anti- black racism and settler-colonialism. Dr. Hussein-Shannan teaches at the graduate level on the intricacy between language, power and (in)justice and critical race theory. Her courses examine how structures and institutions sustain and reproduce systems of oppression and the centrality of our political clarity in contributing to liberation and the creation of a just world.

Event date: 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

4 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10038
The Book of Disappearance (Middle East Literature in Translation) Cover Image
By Ibtisam Azem, Sinan Antoon (Translator)
ISBN: 9780815611110
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to ship to your home
Published: Syracuse University Press - July 12th, 2019

Mornings in Jenin: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608190461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to ship to your home
Published: Bloomsbury USA - February 15th, 2010

The Blue Between Sky and Water Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632862228
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to ship to your home
Published: Bloomsbury USA - June 14th, 2016