The shortlist for the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature 2021 was announced on February 8, 2021.

The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature is a literary award for Arabic literature given to the best contemporary novel written in Arabic, but not available in English translation. The winning book is then translated into English, and published by American University in Cairo Press. Some of the previous winners have been Omaima Al-Khamis (2018), Huzama Habayeb (2017), Adel Esmat (2016), Hassan Daoud (2015), and Hammour Ziada (2014).

The judges for this year’s Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature are Shereen Abouelnaga (chair), literary critic and professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University; Humphrey Davies, award-winning translator of Arabic literature into English; Thaer Deeb, translator, writer, and critic; Samah Selim, translator and associate professor of Arabic language and literature at Rutgers University in the US; and Hebba Sherif, writer, literary critic, and cultural consultant.

The six shortlisted titles were chosen from 270 novels submitted from across the Arab world and diaspora. They are;

  • The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody, Ahmed Taibaoui
  • In The Dust Cities, Amal Radwan
  • The Fort of al-Zidi, Algarby Omran
  • The Neighborhood of Wonder, Maha Hassan
  • The Stone in Khallaf’s House, Mohammad Aly Ibrahim
  • Kohl and Cardamom, Omar Taher

The winner of the medal will be announced in March 2021.