16 novels shortlisted for the 2022 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

The novels in the selection were all published between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 and are all written in Arabic. The 16 novels selected stood out in the eyes of the 5 jurors, among the 122 titles taken into account at the start.

here is long list complete:

Nizar Aghri with In Search of Azar at Al Kotob Khan (Syria)

Boumediene Belkebir with The Alley of the Italians at Al-Ikhtilef (Algeria)

Yaa’rab al-Eissa with The White Minaret at Al-Mutawassit (Syria)

Belal Fadl with Mother of Mimi at Dar al-Mada (Egypt)

Ezzedine Choukri Fishere with Farah’s Story at Dar al-Shorouk (Egypt)

Tarek Imam with Cairo Model at Al-Mutawassit (Egypt)

Haji Jabir with The Abyssinian Rimbaud by Takween (Eritrea, but published in Kuwait)

Reem al-Kamali with Rose’s Diary at Dar al-Adab (United Arab Emirates)

Bushra Khalfan with Dilshad at Takween (Oman, but published in Iraq)

Mohsine Loukili with The Prisoner of the Portuguese at Dar Mim (Morocco)

Khaled Nasrallah with The White Line of Night at Dar Al Saqi (Kuwait)

Muhammad al-Nu’as with Bread on the Table of Uncle Milad at Rashm (Libya)

Rouchdi Redouane with The Hungarian at Dar al-Ain (Algeria)

Mona al-Shammari with The Maids of the Shrine at Dar Al Saqi (Kuwait)

Dima al-Shukr with Where Is My Name? at Dar al-Adab (Syria)

Mohamed Tawfik with The Whisper of the Scorpion at Dar al-Ain (Egypt)

Participants come this year from 9 different countries, and the organizers of the award say in a press release that the subjects covered by the novels are very varied, ” ranging from artists’ struggle to survive in the face of war and state persecution, to the relationship between East and West, freedom, motherhood and gender roles “.

And to continue that ” while forcefully affirming the cultural and religious diversity of Arab society, they condemn those who exploit sectarian strife to amass ill-gotten gains “. Many authors are also noticed by the award for the first time.

Remember that in addition to the $50,000 (about €45,000) reward, to support its ambition to increase the international reach of Arabic fiction, the prize finances the translation into English of the books of its winners. It is sponsored by the Arabic Language Center Abu Dhabi, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, and was initially mentored by the Booker Prize Foundation, London.

The jury this year is made up of the Tunisian writer Shukri Mabkhout, last year’s winner, but also the poet and translator Lyiben Ashut Etwebi, the Lebanese writer and member of PEN International Iman Humaydan, the Kuwaiti poet and critic Saadiah Mufarreh and Bulgarian translator Baian Rayhanova.

In 2021, Jordanian author Jalal Barjas received the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for Notebooks of the Bookshop Keeper (The Arabic Institute for Research and Publishing).

credit: John Kannenberg (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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16 novels shortlisted for the 2022 International Prize for Arabic Fiction