Readers & Advisors
Illustration by Azim Fakhri, Kabul Knights.
These writing, editing, and publishing professionals are experts in world and travel literature. Our list of collaborators is growing to include artists and writers from all over the world. This project would be impossible without the generous advice and valuable skills of friends like these.
Hisham Bustani is a Jordanian award-winning author of five collections of short fiction. Much of his work revolves around issues related to social and political change, particularly the dystopic experience of post-colonial modernity in the Arab world. His work has been described as “"bringing a new wave of surrealism to [Arabic] literary culture, which missed the surrealist revolution of the last century," and that he “belongs to an angry new Arab generation. Indeed, he is at the forefront of this generation – combining an unbounded modernist literary sensibility with a vision for total change.” Hisham's short fiction has been translated into five languages, with English-language translations appearing in prestigious journals across the US, UK, and Canada, including World Literature Today, Los Angeles Review of Books and The Literary Review. In 2009, he was chosen by the German review Inamo as one of the Arab world's emerging and influential new writers. In 2013, the UK-based cultural webzine The Culture Trip listed him as one of Jordan’s top six contemporary writers. His book The Perception of Meaning, won the 2014 University of Arkansas Arabic Translation Award, and was published in 2015 by Syracuse University Press. One of Hisham’s stories was recently chosen to be featured in the inaugural edition of The Best Asian Short Stories anthology, forthcoming in 2017.
Ameena Hussein is a writer and co founder of the Perera Hussein Publishing House which has established itself as the frontrunner for cutting edge Sri Lankan fiction from emerging and established Sri Lankan authors. Her novel The Moon in the Water was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Award and the Dublin IMPAC. Her first short story collection Fifteen was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize in 1999 and her second collection of short stories Zillij won the State Literary Prize in 2005. She has also edited three collections of children’s stories and a collection of stories for adults. Her stories have been published in national and international literary journals. She has worked closely with organizations to conduct creative writing classes in a post conflict situation with affected youth. She is currently at work on a novel and a travelogue on Ibn Batuta in Sri Lanka.
Govind Dhar is an editor and journalist based in Colombo, Sri Lanka with a career in feature journalism and magazine editing for over 15 years, spanning the UAE, India and Sri Lanka. His stories on art, travel, culture, food and music have been published globally by BBC, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, GQ, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Roads and Kingdoms, Slate, Conde Nast Traveler, the Hindu newspaper and Travel + Leisure, among others. Govind was the launch editor for the luxury publication The Robb Report in India in 2011, and he conceptualized and edited an arts, culture and archive journal for Sri Lanka and India entitled The Ceylon Chronicle in 2018.
Larry Habegger is a travel writer, editor, teacher, and publisher who has been covering the world since the 1970s. As a freelance writer and syndicated columnist for more than 30 years, his work has appeared in many major newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Travel & Leisure, and Outside. In 1993 he cofounded the award-winning Travelers’ Tales books with James and Tim O’Reilly and is currently executive editor, where he helps oversee the company’s publishing program and has worked on all of our 130-plus books. He teaches and coaches writers, emphasizing the art of the personal travel story and memoir, and regularly teaches at writers conferences. He's also editor in chief of Triporati.com, editor of The Travel Guide to California, and cofounder of The Prose Doctors, an editors consortium. He lives with his family on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco.
Nancy Laforest is a freelance writer, editor and translator with a degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal. A French-Canadian Hungarian mix, she moved from Canada to Budapest in the early 2000s to get closer to her roots. From there, she spent five years traveling around Europe, teaching English and falling in love. She was also a regular contributor to Budapest Week publications, reporting on local gastronomy, social and cultural issues.
Nancy and Marguerite have been working together for over ten years now, a collaboration that began as colleagues in charge of magazine production for the France Tourism Development Agency. Since then, they've counseled one another on a variety of writing projects, ranging from Transylvanian family tales to features on music, motorcycles and travel destinations around the globe.
Jonathan Wright is an award-winning Arabic translator and journalist. He studied Arabic, Turkish and Islamic History at St. John's College, Oxford University. Between 1980 and 2009 he worked for Reuters news agency, mainly in the Middle East.
A sample of his long list of literary translations include these recent works: The Longing of the Dervish by Sudanese author Hamour Ziada, which won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature; The Televangelist by Ibrahim Essa (Hoopoe Fiction, Egypt/USA), one of this year’s entries whose original was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction; and Land of No Rain by Amjad Nasser (BQFP, 2014), which was commended for the 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize.
With Reuters, Jonathan Wright was based in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Oman, Kenya, Tunisia, Cyprus, London and Washington DC. For six years he was U.S. State Department correspondent for Reuters, traveling the world with Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. He covered several major events, including the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the siege of West Beirut in 1982, the war over Kuwait in 1991, the Yemeni civil war in 1994 and the Egyptian revolution of 2011. Between 2008 and 2011 he was the managing editor of Arab Media and Society, an online academic journal published by the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research of the American University in Cairo.