Hoda Barakat: Lost Voices of the Arab Spring

Ten years on from the uprisings across the Arab-speaking world, writers from countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Libya are offering important reflections on the uncertainty and tragedy that continues to affect people living there. In this event the acclaimed Lebanese writer Hoda Barakat discusses her new novel, translated into English by International Booker-winning translator Marilyn Booth. Voices of the Lost, which won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2019, is built around imagined letters written by migrants or asylum seekers from the Arab world – missives which sadly never reached their intended recipients. Each one, falling into the hands of another asylum seeker, prompts that person to begin a letter of their own. The result offers moving, sometimes painful insights into the lives of migrants – not only the betrayals and agonies but also, at times, the hope and faith that things will improve. In this event, filmed live at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival, Barakat joins remotely from her home in France to discuss Voices of the Lost with British Council Co-Director Literature, David Codling.

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