Three New Literary Works Published by A.M. Qattan and Dar Al-Ahlia
The A.M. Qattan Foundation and Dar Al-Ahlia for Publishing and Distribution in Jordan recently published three literary works of the Young Writer of the Year Award winners, organised by the Foundation’s Culture and Arts Programme.
The published works include Mr. Blue in the Cinema, a short-story collection by Ahmed Jaber, Footprints Leave Feet Behind, a short-story collection by the late Muhannad Younes and Wounds Test Themselves, a poetry collection by Hamed Ashour.
Mahmoud Abu Hashhash, Director of the Culture and Arts Programme, said: “We are happy with these three new publications, and five other books will follow, including three poetry collections and two novels, all authored by young writers. We hope this act will help the authors meet new readers in Palestine and the Arab world and consolidate their steps on the difficult path of writing.”
He added, “The publications display distinguished and strong literary voices that are capable of genuine and audacious expression of the concerns, dreams and questions raised by this young generation.”
Mr. Blue in the Cinema
The short-story collection by Ahmed Jaber, Mr. Blue in the Cinema, was awarded first prize of the Young Writers of the Year Award in 2017. The jury stated that the collection fully responded to storytelling features and art, using crafty multifaceted language that delved directly into the story without metaphoric introductions. The opening of each story was as varied as the worlds they encompassed in a pure, accurate and skilful language with details that juggle and abolish the borders between the real and the imaginary and the borders between both worlds.
Jaber is a Palestinian author and storyteller born in Jordan and currently resides in Ramallah. He holds an MA in roads and transport engineering from An-Najah National University, 2017. He has published two other prose collections: The Twenty-Year Journey and As If Nothing Happened.
Wounds Test Themselves
Hamed Ashour’s poetry collection, Wounds Test Themselves, was praised by the jury as “introducing a talent worth encouragement, with an active imagination and a personal tone in writing. It is incredible, enjoyable and amazing poetry with rhythmic language, images and visions portraying a different perception of the world and a self-confidence that is great enough to give things the opportunity to tell their own stories.”
Ashour was born in 1994 and lives in Gaza. He obtained a BA in social and family development from Al-Quds Open University in 2017. His published poems are in local and Arab literature and culture reviews.
Footprints Leave Feet Behind
The story collection Footprints Leave Feet Behind attracted the jury because of its unique approach to the theme of death, which explores individual and collective narratives in a political space. It merges surrealist storytelling with prose and presents readers with clear-cut artistic language and the innovative plots of unusual stories. Cognitively, the stories appear like direct linear narrations, but this linearity turns into a tool to explore more distant worlds. The writing talent is visible through rigorous, economical and high-style narration full of superior sensitivity and deep existential reflection, together with keen attention to the philosophical and narrative elements of time.
The late Muhannad Younes was born in Gaza in 1997 and passed away on 29 August 2017. He published a number of striking essays and short stories in literature reviews and on social media. He was awarded several local prizes. Following his tragic death, his story collection, Autumn Leaves, was published.
The Foundation partners with the Mahmoud Darwish Museum to organise book-launching ceremonies, beginning with Mr. Blue in the Cinema on Monday, 17 September. Next month, on 8 October, it will launch Footprints Leave Feet Behind.