Nestled on the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, the city of Khartoum has, for two centuries, been a focal point for both imperialism and rebellion, a breeding ground for revolutionary fervor, begrudging target for international criticism, and a refuge for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by wars conducted from this city.
The Book of Khartoum provides an intimate tour of this city through the eyes of 10 of its best authors, representing a wide array of literary schools and political stances; from the social realism of old Communist stalwarts, to the fantastical abstraction of a new generation of Sudanese writers.
Max Shmookler is a doctoral student in the department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University, where his research focuses on Sudanese literary history. He lived for many years in Cairo and has travelled broadly in the Middle East. His first collection of translations (with Najlaa Othman) was published online by Words Without Borders.
Raph Cormack is a translator, editor and author with a PhD in modern Arabic literature. He has worked as a translator for Egyptian playwright Ali Salem as well as running his own Arabic translation blog which has featured work by Mohammed Taymur, Ahmed al-Kashif, and Mohammed Ahmed Mahjoub, among others.