Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations

Published by Comma Press UK and Deep Vellum USA (2018)
Edited by Sarah Cleave
Authors: AnoudWajdi al-AhdalCristina Ali FarahNajwa Bin ShatwanRania Mamoun, Fereshteh Molavi & Zaher Omareen
Translators: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Basma Ghalayini, Perween Richards, Sawad Hussain, William M. Hutchins and Hope Campbell Gustafson


This urgent and timely collection brings together seven specially commissioned stories from the so-called ‘banned nations’: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Written in response to Trump’s 2017 travel ban, it showcases new works by previously unplatformed writers, exploring the emotional and personal impact of all restrictions on movement – both existing restrictions and potential future bans.

Covering a range of approaches – from satire, to allegory, to literary realism – Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations is a testament to the importance of creative resistance in turbulent times.

My translation in this collection

It was an honour to translate one short story for this collection: Bird of Paradise, by Rania Mamoun. And then I was even more honoured when it was published by the web journal Literary Hub!

About Rania Mamoun

Born in 1979, Rania Mamoun is a Sudanese author, journalist, and activist. She has published two novels in Arabic Green Flash (2006) and Son of the Sun (2013) as well as a short story collection Thirteen Months of Sunrise, which will be published in English by Comma Press in 2018. Her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies, including the Book of Khartoum (Comma Press, 2016), the first ever anthology of Sudanese short fiction in translation. She has also worked as culture page editor of Al-Thaqafi magazine, a columnist for Ad-Adwaa newspaper and presenter of the Silicon Valley cultural programme on Sudanese TV.