Yassin Adnan

Six Africans make International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017 have announced their longlist for this year’s best book in Arab writing this year and six Africans made the cut. They are Yassin Adnan, Najwa Binshatwan, Amir Tag Elsir, Abdul-Kareem Jouaity, Mohammed Abdel Nabi, and Youssef Rakha.

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) has today, Monday 16 January 2017, revealed the longlist of 16 novels in contention for the 2017 prize. The novels selected were chosen from 186 entries from 19 countries, all published within the last 12 months. The longlist was chosen by a panel of five judges chaired by Palestinian novelist Sahar Khalifa.

This is the tenth year of the Prize, which is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction in the Arab world.

The full 2017 longlist, with author names in alphabetical order, is as follows: Author, Title, Country of origin, Publisher

  1. Yassin Adnan, Hot Maroc, Morocco, Dar al-Ain
  2. Najwa Binshatwan, The Slaves’ Pens, Libya, Dar Al Saqi
  3. Amir Tag Elsir, The Resort of the Enchantresses, Sudan, Dar Al Saqi
  4. Abdul-Kareem Jouaity, The North Africans, Morocco, Al-Markez al-Thaqafi al-Arabi
  5. Mohammed Abdel Nabi, In the Spider’s Chamber, Egypt, Dar al-Ain
  6. Youssef Rakha, Paolo, Egypt, Dar Tanweer, Egypt

Choosing the best book are the judges Sahar Khalifa (Chair), a Palestinian novelist; Saleh Almani, a Palestinian translator; Fatima al-Haji, a Libyan academic, novelist and broadcaster; Sahar ElMougy, an Egyptian novelist and academic; and Sophia Vasalou, a Greek academic and translator.

Speaking about the longlist the chair of judges Sahar Khalifa said, ‘We chose the longlist of 16 from 186 novels submitted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. The longlist novels are hugely varied in their subject matter and imagined worlds, embracing history, political and social themes and fantasy. As a whole they express the interactions, struggles and defeats, as well as the hopes and dreams, of the Arab world today.’

The 2017 IPAF shortlist will be announced at the Palace of Culture in Algiers, Algeria on Thursday 16 February 2017. The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017 will be announced at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday 25 April 2017, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The six shortlisted finalists will receive $10,000, with a further $50,000 going to the winner.


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