16 novels in contention for valuable Arabic fiction prize
The judges for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) have announced a 16-strong longlist for the prize in 2019. The titles were chosen from 134 entries.
Mohammed Abi Samra Women Without Trace (Lebanon; Riyad al-Rayyes)
Omaima Abdullah Al-Khamis Voyage of the Cranes in the Cities of Agate (Saudi Arabia; Dar Al Saqi)
Hoda Barakat The Night Mail (Lebanon; Dar al-Adab)
Jalal Bargas Women of the Five Senses (Jordan; Arabic Institute for Research and Publishing)
Adel Esmat The Commandments (Egypt; Kotob Khan)
Maysalun Hadi Mohammed's Brothers (Iraq; Dar al-Dhakira)
Huji Jaber Black Foam (Eritrea; Dar Tanweer, Lebanon)
Inaam Kachachi The Outcast (Iraq; Dar al-Jadid)
Waciny Laredj May- The Nights of Isis Copia (Algeria; Dar al-Adab)
Mohammed Al-Maazuz What Sin Caused Her To Die? (Morocco; Cultural Book Centre)
May Menassa I Killed My Mother in Order To Live (Lebanon; Riyad al-Rayyes)
Mbarek Rabi Western Mediterranean (Morocco; Arabic Institute for Research and Publishing)
Habib Sayah Me and Haim (Algeria; Dar Mim)
Shahla Ujayli Summer with the Enemy (Syria; Difaf Publishing)
Iman Yehia The Mexican Wife (Egypt; Dar al-Shorouk)
Kafa Al-Zou'bi Cold White Sun (Jordan; Dar al-Adab)
The judging panel is Charafdin Majdolin (chair), a Moroccan critic and academic; Fowziyah AbuKhalid, a Saudi Arabian poet, writer, academic and researcher; Zulaikha Aburisha, a Jordanian poet, columnist, researcher and human and women's rights activist; Zhang HongYi, a Chinese academic, translator and researcher; and Latif Zeitouni, a Lebanese academic and literary critic.
The judges will announce their shortlist on 5 February, and their winner on 23 April, at an awards ceremony at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi on the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Shortlisted authors receive $10,000 each, and the winner receives a further $50,000. The 2018 winner was The Second War of the Dog by Ibrahim Nasrallah.
The prize is sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, which also offers a translation fund, and is run with the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London.