Awards Egypt Morocco Sudan Tunisia

North Africans pepper International Prize for Arabic Fiction longlist

Hammour Ziada
Hammour Ziada

The International prize for Arabic fiction was set up in 2007 to address limited international availability of Arabic literature. The prize is one of the richest in writing in this part of the world as US$50,000 goes to the winner of the prize and shortlisted writers go home with US$10,000. The winner also gets translated into English so that English speakers like myself get to read them.

The organisers of the prize announced the longlist for the 2015 prize which had 16 books with 12 different countries listed. In that list of longlistees are Africans the first of which this blogger noted was Sudan’s Hammour Ziada who won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature 2014. There other writers include Muna al-Sheemi and Ashraf al-Khamaisi from Egypt, Shukri al-Mabkhout from Tunisia and Ahmed al-Madeeni and Mohammed Berrada from Morocco

The shortlist, where folks know that they will at least be going home with US$10,000 will be made in Casablanca, Morocco on Friday 13 February and the big winner will be announced in Abu Dhabi on 6 May. The full longlist includes;

  • A Suspended Life by Atef Abu Saif (Palestine, Al-Ahlia)
  • Far from Clamour, Close to Silence by Mohammed Berrada (Morocco, Le Fennec)
  • Drowning in Lake Morez by Antoine Douaihy (Lebanon, Dar al-Mourad)
  • The American Neighbourhood by Jabbour Douaihy (Lebanon, Saqi Books)
  • Floor 99 by Jana Elhassan (Lebanon, Difaf Publications)
  • Diamonds and Women by Lina Huyan Elhassan (Syria, Dar al-Adab)
  • Don’t Tell Your Nightmare! by Abdel Wahab al-Hamadi (Kuwait, Al-Markez al-Thaqafi al-Arabi)
  • Female Voices by Maha Hassan (Syria, Dar Tanweer, Lebanon)
  • Riyam and Kafa by Hadia Hussein (Iraq, Arab Institute for Research and Publishing)
  • Sharp Turning by Ashraf al-Khamaisi (Egypt, Al-Dar al-Masriya al-Lubnaniya)
  • Graphite by Hisham al-Khashin (Egypt, Maktabat al-Dar al-Arabiyya lil Kitab)
  • The Italian by Shukri al-Mabkhout (Tunisia, Dar Tanweer, Lebanon)
  • Willow Alley by Ahmed al-Madeeni (Morocco, Al-Markez al-Thaqafi al-Arabi)
  • The Daughter of Suslov by Habib Abdulrab Sarori (Yemen, Saqi Books)
  • The Size of a Grape by Muna al-Sheemi (Egypt, Al-Hadara)
  • The Longing of the Dervish by Hammour Ziada (Sudan, Dar al-Ain)

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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