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Issa J. Boullata

Image of Issa J. Boullata

Born in Jerusalem, Palestine, Issa J. Boullata received a Ph.D. in Arabic literature from the University of London in 1969, taught at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut from 1968 to 1975, then joined McGill University in Montreal in 1975 as professor of Arabic literature and language at its Institute of Islamic Studies. He retired from McGill in 2004. His publications include Outlines of Romanticism in Modern Arabic Poetry (1960) and Badr Shakir al-Sayyab: His Life and Poetry (1971), both in Arabic; Modern Arab Poets, 1950-1975 (1976), an anthology in English translation; Trends and Issues in Contemporary Arab Thought (1990); and, as editor, Critical Perspectives on Modern Arabic Literature (1980), and Tradition and Modernity in Arabic Literature (1997, with Terri DeYoung). He has published over eighty articles and over two hundred and fifty book reviews in scholarly journals, and translated into English many poems from Arabic. In addition, he has published many entries on Arabic literature and Islam in encyclopedias such as The Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Encyclopedia of Religion, Collier's Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, and Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an. He is currently a contributing editor of Banipal, a London magazine of modern Arabic literature in English. Among his translations into English are Ahmad Amin's My Life (1978), Emily Nasrallah's Flight Against Time (1987, 1997), Jabra Ibrahim Jabra's The First Well: A Bethlehem Boyhood, (1995) which earned him the 1993 University of Arkansas Press Award for Translation from Arabic, and Mohamed Berrada's The Game of Forgetting (1996). He also won the 1997 University of Arkansas Press Award for his translation of Ghada Samman's The Square Moon (1998). His translation of Mohamed Berrada's second novel, Fugitive Light, was published in 2002, and Jabra's Princesses' Street: Baghdad Memories in 2005. His Arabic novel,'A'id ila al-Quds (Homecoming to Jerusalem), was published in Beirut; in addition, he has published several short stories in English.

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