Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations

Featuring stories by: Rania Mamound, Anoud, Wajdi al-Ahdal, Zaher Omareen, Najwa Bin Shatwan, Crina Al Farah, and Fereshteh Molavi.

On 27 January 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting all refugee admissions for 120 days and temporarily barring entry from seven Muslim-majority countries. Mass protests followed, and the order has since been blocked, revised and challenged by judges, politicians, activists and artists alike. But the battle is not yet over, and in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in the UK, Trump has renewed calls for the ban.

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 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.


'Hungry, marooned, afraid … compelling short stories capture the experiences of those who were directly affected by the US president’s travel ban' - The Guardian

'Each writer (and translator) deserves enormous credit for contributing to a worthy enterprise and committing a small yet supremely effective act of defiance.' - The National

‘Seven fresh, surprising views on boundaries and borders in a collection that combines black humour, Islamo-futurism, fantasy, and painful realities.’ - M. Lynx Qualey

'This is finely spun magical realism to rival the likes of Borges and García-Márquez.' - The State of the Arts

'Banthology aims to give voice to and better understand a set of nations who have been writ off in one sweeping stereotype, and it does so. Those in power try to silence many voices – this is a triumphant refusal to let that happen.' - The Skinny

As featured on Literary Hub.

Read an interview with the editor Sarah Cleave in The Bookseller.

Rights Profile

Rights Available
World, all languages, exluding North America (Deep Vellum)

Original Language
English, Arabic, Italian

Samples Available
Full text available in English



Publication Date

January 2018


Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations on the Comma Press website