Hyeonseo Lee's internationally bestselling memoir, The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story
, has been translated in 18 languages in 25 countries. Over 8 million people have viewed her TED Talk about her life in North Korea, her escape to China and struggle to bring her family to freedom. Oprah called it, "The most riveting Ted Talk ever." Hyeonseo has given testimony about North Korean human rights in front of a special panel of the UN Security Council in 2014, at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2016, and continues to discuss North Korean human rights issues with various officials, including UN Ambassador Samantha Powers.
Hyeonseo has contributed to The New York Times and Wall Street Journal and is a sought-after speaker, commentator and interviewee who has been featured in TIME, Forbes, BBC, CNN, Reuters, AP, AFP, NYT, FOX, CBS, MSNBC's Morning Joe, Glamour magazine and countless other television, newspaper and radio outlets throughout the world. She is writing her second book with other female North Koreans living in South Korea, and is starting an NGO, "North Star NK," to help North Korean refugees improve their lives and interact with the international community.
Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek journalist and writer who was forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992 and came to the United Kingdom, where he took a job with the BBC World Service. His works are banned in Uzbekistan.
Ismailov has published dozens of books in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish and other languages. Ismailov's novel The Railway, originally written before he left Uzbekistan, was the first to be translated into English, by Robert Chandler, and was published in 2006. A Russian edition was published in Moscow in 1997 under the pseudonym Altaer Magdi. Another novel, A Poet and Bin-Laden, translated by Andrew Bromfield, was published in September 2012. His triptych of novels, The Underground (published worldwide by Restless Book), Googling for Soul, and Two Lost to Life, have also been translated into English. His book "The Dead Lake" was published by Peirene Press early in 2014.
When Hamid Ismailov, one of Uzbekistan’s most widely published writers, was forced into exile in 1992, he had thought it would be temporary. But 23 years on, he still can’t return. He can’t pinpoint which work exactly led to his exile. He believes it was the cumulative effect of various articles, plus a freelance job he did with a BBC film crew when they interviewed leading secular and religious opposition figures in his country.
Ali Bader is an Iraqi novelist, poet, critic, regarded as the most significant writer to emerge in Arabic world in the last decade. author of thirteen works of fiction, and several works of non-fiction. His best-known works included Papa Sartre, The tobacco keeper, The Running after the Wolves, and The sinful woman, many of which have won awards. His novels are quite unlike any other fictions in Arabic world of our day, it had blended with character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, and explicit language. Bader was born in Baghdad, where he studied western Philosophy and French Literature. He is living now in Bruxelles. In addition to his work as an author, he is also an Arabic media journalist. His novels are considered unique in Arabic fiction.
Nael El Toukhy is a luminary among Egypt’s millennial writers at a break point in Arab culture as well as politics. He has published five books of fiction and two books of translation from the Hebrew. His novels include the critically acclaimed Nisaa Al Karantina (Women of Karantina, 2013) and Al Alfenwa seta (Two Thousand and Six, 2009). He is a staff journalist at a number of regional newspapers. In 2009, he started a blog to translate texts from modern Israeli literature.
Women of Karantina
Back in the dog days of the early twenty-first century a pair of lovebirds fleeing a murder charge in Cairo pull in to Alexandria's main train station. Fugitives, friendless, their young lives blighted at the root, Ali and Injy set about rebuilding, and from the coastal city's arid soil forge a legend, a kingdom of crime, a revolution: Karantina. Subversive and hilarious, deft and scalpel-sharp, Eltoukhy's sprawling epic is a masterpiece of modern Egyptian literature.