Fiction with a distinctively Middle Eastern flavor

Cairo-based Hoopoe fiction “embodies the freedom” of an independent publisher


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Named after a bird found across the Middle East, known for its distinctive crown of black and chestnut feathers, Hoopoe is a new imprint of the AUC (American University of Cairo) Press, which for over half a century has published Arabic literature in English translation and wide-ranging books about the Middle East.

Hoopoe seeks to publish fresh writing from Marrakesh to Baghdad and Khartoum to Aleppo for “adventurous readers everywhere”. With historical epics, social satire, police procedurals and stories of the future Middle East, Hoopoe publishes paperback and digital editions of contemporary writing. Neil Hewison, Associate Director for Editorial Programs, Nadine El-Hadi, Acquisitions Editor and Basma El Manialawi, Marketing Manager, answered the following questions collectively:

What is your editorial line? What makes you stand out?

We’re based in Cairo, overlooking Tahrir Square; we publish fiction with a distinctively Middle Eastern flavor and with an incredible diversity of writing – in terms of geography, style and genre – that we have carefully curated for our audience.

We seek to present curious readers with outstanding stories, books that people will read to enjoy, be moved by, be provoked by, but not purely as a means to be educated about the Middle East, an expectation that has too often been placed on Arab writers.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an independent publisher?

Our ability to take collective risks with projects we believe in and are passionate about.

Hoopoe – our almost-one-year-old fiction imprint – is the embodiment of the freedom that being an independent publisher allows. We created a new brand that moved away from the traditional literature targeted at scholars and academics, and that appeals to a much wider audience, tapping into the larger world fiction market.

Read the complete interview published by Bookwitty

Posted on 20/04/2017 in Dystopian, FICTION Crime, FICTION General, FICTION Mystery & Detective - General, FICTION Political, FICTION Psychological, Literary Criticism, Science Fiction, tagged as Arab world, Arabic fiction, Bookwitty, contemporary, Hoopoe, Hoopoe Fiction, novel, translated

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