Friday, February 17, 2017

Shortlist Announced International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017 | #ArabicFiction2017

 Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Najwa Binshatwan, Ismail Fahd Ismail, Elias Khoury, Mohammed Abdel Nabi and Saad Mohammed Rahim have today, Thursday 16 February, been announced as the six authors shortlisted for the tenth International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF).

The 2016 shortlist, with author names in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Country of origin
Mohammed Hasan Alwan
A Small Death
Saudi Arabia
Dar Al Saqi
Najwa Binshatwan
The Slaves' Pens
Dar Al Saqi
Ismail Fahd Ismail
Elias Khoury
Children of the Ghetto – My Name is Adam
Dar al-Adab
Mohammed Abdel Nabi
In the Spider's Chamber
Dar al-Ain
Saad Mohammed Rahim
The Bookseller's Murder
Dar wa Maktabat Sutur

This year’s six novels showcase the best in contemporary Arabic literature celebrating its rich heritage, while tackling untold stories and addressing topical issues. A Small Death sees the historical and spiritual adventures of Sufi thinker Ibn Arabi brought vividly to life in fiction for the first time and Al-Sabiliat focuses on a woman in southern Iraq who defies the military forces involved in the long war between Iraq and Iran. In The Spider's Chamber challenges taboos to give a voice to a marginalised group and The Slaves' Pens uncovers the history of slavery in Libya. Children of the Ghetto My Name is Adam is a new approach to the Palestinian 'nakba' of 1948, and the fate of the inhabitants of Lud. Finally, The Bookseller's Murder reveals the artistic, cultured and human dimension of Iraqi civilisation, in the face of destruction following the American occupation.

Mohammed Hasan Alwan is the only author previously shortlisted for the Prize. That shortlisting was in 2013 for his novel The Beaver, he was also a participant in the first IPAF Nadwa in 2009 and a mentor in 2016. Three previously longlisted authors are shortlisted this year: Ismail Fahd Ismail who was longlisted in 2014 for The Phoenix and the Faithful Friend; Elias Khoury who was longlisted in 2013 for Sinalkul; and Mohammed Abdel Nabi who was longlisted in 2013 for The Return of the Sheikh.

 The 2017 judging panel is made up of: Sahar Khalifeh (Chair), a Palestinian novelist; Saleh Almani, a Palestinian translator; Fatima al-Haji, a Libyan academic, novelist and broadcaster; Sahar ElMougy, an Egyptian novelist and academic; and Sophia Vasalou, a Greek academic and translator.

The novels selected were chosen from 186 entries from 19 countries, all published between July 2015 and June 2016.


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