Ibrahim Nasrallah’s ‘The Second War of the Dog’ Wins 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Al-Rawi’s   Baghdad Clock   will be published in Luke Leafgren’s English translation next month, and Wannous’s   The Frightened Ones   will be published in Elisabeth Jaquette’s translation in 2019. Nasrallah’s futuristic The   Second War of the Dog   or   Dog War II is set against the backdrop of a   Daesh-like group that has risen to power in an unnamed country. Nancy Roberts. Each year, film interviews are made with each of the IPAF-shortlisted writers. Roberts. Nasrallah reveals the intrinsic savagery in human beings, as he describes a futuristic world where greed intensifies and human values and ethics are ignored. Palestinian-Jordanian novelist and poet Ibrahim Nasrallah   has won the eleventh edition of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Other books by Nasrallah that have been translated into English include   Gaza Weddings   (2017), translated by Roberts;   Prairies of Fever (1998), translated by May Jayyusi;   Inside the Night   (2007), translated by Bakr Abbas; and   Rain Inside   (2009),   translated by Omnia Amin and Rick London. World translation rights are still available for the book; Nasrallah is represented by the Beirut-based Raya Agency. His Ottoman-era historical novel   Time of White Horses   made the 2009 shortlist, and has since been translated by Nancy Roberts. It’s Nasrallah’s first book set in the future, and takes the reader in a markedly different direction from his previous, largely historical, novels. Nasrallah expertly draws the reader into this world from different vantage points, using   crisp language in which humour makes the moral burden of relating to the main character “bearable,” or just so. Roberts
The poem “Survivors,” translator not mentioned. From the announcement, shared over Facebook live. He added, in a subtitled translation provided by IPAF organizers, that “The Second War of the Dog is, in my opinion, a warning of what we could become in the future.” And: “The novel suggests that if we continue on our current path, we will reach a future where we would become mostly annihilistic.”
In addition to judging chair Ibrahim Al Saafin, the winner was chosen by four other judges: Algerian academic and translator Inam Bioud, Sudanese-British novelist Jamal Mahjoub, Palestinian author Mahmoud Shukair, and Slovenian writer-translator Barbara Skubic. It was announced, as is tradition, on the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair:
Nasrallah took the 2018 prize with his future fiction   حرب الكلب الثانية, which prize organizers have been translating as    The Second War of the Dog. An excerpt from   The Lanterns of the Kings of Galilee,   tr. With humour and insight, it exposes the tendency towards brutality inherent in society, imagining a time where human and moral values have been discarded and anything is permissible, even the buying and selling of human souls. Without a moral compass, the protagonist lets go of the normal bounds that constrain human behaviour. Nasrallah — born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan — is no stranger to the IPAF, having been on four of the prize’s 11 longlists. Chair of the IPAF trustees Yasir Suleiman added:

Ibrahim Nasrallah’s novel paints a chilling picture of humanity in all its destructive potential. Nasrallah is perhaps best-known for his “Palestinian Comedy” project, a wide-ranging series of novels in the spirit of Balzac’s “La Comédie Humaine.”   Nasrallah is also a poet, artist, photographer, and social activist. The novel focuses on the corrupt main character, Rashid, who changes from an opponent of the regime to a materialistic and unscrupulous extremist. Each of the other shortlisted novelists receive $10,000. An excerpt from   Gaza Weddings,   tr. The others on the shortlist were   Sudanese author Amir Tag Elsir’s Flowers in Flames; Saudi novelist Aziz Mohammed’s The Critical Case of “K”;   Iraqi author Shahad al-Rawi’s Baghdad Clock; Palestinian writer Walid Shurafa’s Heir of the Tombstones; and Syrian writer Dima Wannous’s The Frightened Ones. His win is an accolade well-deserved. In his, Nasrallah said that he’d written the winning novel to “provoke” and “worry” the reader. Nasrallah’s longlisted   The Lanterns of the King of Galilee   was also   translated by Roberts. This was the first time   for Nasrallah to win the prize. Five reads online:
An excerpt of   The Time of White Horses,   tr. In addition to the $50,000 prize, Nasrallah’s novel also will be granted a translation subsidy by IPAF organizers. “Taste,” a poem translated by Omnia Amin and Rick London
Interviews and talks:
Ibrahim Nasrallah: Part of My Ambition Was to Surprise the Reader Who Knew   Palestine
Ibrahim Nasrallah, on Writing, Palestine, and Flying with Two   Wings
The Guardian:   Writing of Jordan, Dreaming of Palestine  

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Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditGoogleTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading…‹ Announcement Today: Winner of 2018 International Prize for Arabic FictionCategories: International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), Palestine In a prepared statement, the judging chair Ibrahim Al Saafin said:
The Second War of the Dog is a masterful vision of a dystopian future in a nameless country, using fantasy and science fiction techniques.