Prominent Authors, Including Elias Khoury, Make 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist

They range from the historical to the very contemporary:   A Small Death   harks back the farthest, following 12th-century   Sufi thinker Ibn Arabi;   In The Spider’s Chamber is focused on   the Queen Boat arrests of gay men in Egypt in 2001;   Al-Sabiliat   takes place during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s;   Children of the Ghetto – My Name is Adam   during the Palestinian   nakba in 1948; The Slaves’ Pens   tells the story of slavery in Libya, 200 years in the past;   and The Bookseller’s Murder   is set in post-Occupation Iraq. Hosny was also surprised not to see any of the titles from the prominent publisher Dar al-Tanweer, which had three titles on the longlist, as it did in 2016. The six shortlisted finalists will receive $10,000, with an additional $50,000 going to the winner. The other judges are Palestinian translator Saleh Almani, Libyan novelist Fatima al-Haji, Egyptian novelist Sahar ElMoughy, and Greek academic and translator Sophia Vasalou. Hasan Alwan was also one of the “Beirut39.”
The 2017 judging panel is chaired by beloved Palestinian novelist Sahar Khalifeh. Advertisements

Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditGoogleTumblrPinterestPocketLike this:Like Loading…‹ IPAF-longlisted ‘Paulo’: Exhausting and Unsettling, Like the Egyptian RevolutionPEN Issues Statement About Case Against Palestinian Author Abbad Yahya and His ‘Crime in Ramallah’ ›Categories: International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) The winner will be announced, as every year, at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, this year set for April 25. As he notes, just two writers are new to the IPAF: Binshatwan and Rahim. However, Binshatwan is not new to the international prize circuit, having been listed as one of the “Beirut39,” or the 39 top Arab writers under forty, in 2009. Some of them explore taboo areas, while others put their fingers on the pulse of critical situations in the complex Arab world of today and celebrate highlights of Arab heritage. Other previous winners include   Shukri Mabkout’s The Italian (2015); Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad (2014), forthcoming in translation by Jonathan Wright in 2018; Saud Alsanousi’s The Bamboo Stalk (2013), translated into English by Jonathan Wright; Rabee Jaber’s The Druze of Belgrade (2012); Mohammed Achaari’s The Arch and the Butterfly and Raja Alem’s The Dove’s Necklace, co-winners, both in English translation (2011); Abdo Khal’s Throwing Sparks (2010), translated into English by Maia Tabet and Michael Scott; Youssef Ziedan’s Azazeel (2009), translated into English by Jonathan Wright; and Bahaa Taher’s Sunset Oasis (2008), translated into English by Humphrey Davies. Antoon was previously shortlisted for his   Ya Mariam,   forthcoming in English translation by Maia Tabet under the title   Baghdad Eucharist   from Hoopoe Fiction this April. The IPAF does provide   funding for English translation for its winners. Last year’s winner of the Prize was Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba by Rabai al-Madhoun. Critic Mahmoud Hosny said that perhaps the biggest surprise was that Sinan Antoon’s   Index,   reviewed on ArabLit,   didn’t advance to the shortlist. The six novels to make the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) shortlist were named today:
They include the latest novel by Lebanese writer Elias Khoury, an author best known for his   Gate of the Sun   and sometimes mentioned as being in contention for the Nobel Prize for Literature; eminent and multi-prize-winning Kuwaiti writer Ismail Fahd Ismail’s   Al-Sabiliat; the novel A Small Death   by   Saudi writer   Mohamed Hassan Alwan, whose   The Beaver   was previously   IPAF-shortlisted and winner of the   Prix de la Littérature Arabe; Egyptian writer Mohamed Abdelnaby, also previously longlisted for the IPAF, for his much-discussed   In the Spider’s Room;   acclaimed Libyan writer   Najwa Binshatwan for The Slaves’ Pens;   and Iraqi writer Saad Mohammed Rahim for The Bookseller’s Murder. In a prepared statement, Khalifeh said:
The six novels chosen from the huge number (186) submitted to the International Prize for Arabic Fiction stand out for their brilliant artistic structure, development of characters and treatment of socially sensitive and daring subject matter.