The meeting of these 39 authors was the result of a widespread call to readers, publishers, literary agents and authors all over the Arab speaking world to put forward their own candidates. The event was also a perfect occasion to read and debate over contemporary narrative in the Arab world.
Read the 39 authors’ biographies
The ‘39 authors under 39’ were chosen by a jury of four well-known and respected Arab writers, academics and journalists: Abdo Wazen, Saif al-Rahbi, Alawiya Sobh and Dr Gaber Asfour.
Hay Festival announced the 39 selected authors at Frankfurt Book Fair on 16 October 2009.
Click here to download the list of 39 selected authors in Arabic and English