Titles from Tunisia, Syria and Morocco have been shortlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the Literary and Art Criticism category.
The three works were picked from a longlist of seven books. The Literary and Art Criticism category covers critique in the fields of art, cinema, music, theatre, studies of image, architecture, sculpture, historical ruins, folkloric arts and history of literature and theory.
The category received 273 submissions this year, marking a 37 per cent increase on the 199 entries submitted in the previous year.
The shortlisted titles are:
- Nahwa al Shawari’: Fi Raheel al Nahw ila al Shawari (The Role of Street Grammar in Influencing Proper Grammar) by Tunisian author Taoufik Alaloui
- Al Sarid wa Taw’am al Rooh: Min al Tamtheel ila al Istinaa (The Narrator and the Soulmate: From Acting to Faking) by Moroccan writer by M'hamed Aldahi
- Iqa’at al Ibdaa fi al Tabee’aa wal Fann (Rhythms of Creativity in Nature and Art) by Syrian author Kamal Alkontar.
With the announcement of the Literary and Art Criticism contenders, the Contribution to the Development of Nations category is the only shortlist yet to be announced.
Winners of the 16th Sheikh Zayed Book Award will be honoured in a ceremony in May, alongside the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
The award will also name its Cultural Personality of the Year. The winner of that accolade will receive a gold medal, certificate of merit and a monetary prize of Dh1 million. Winners of the other categories will each receive a gold medal, in addition to a certificate of merit and a monetary prize of Dh750,000.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, named after UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, honours writers, innovators and thinkers in literature, the arts and humanities in Arabic and other languages from across the Arab world. Organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi, it aims to advance Arabic literature and provide new opportunities for Arabic-language writers.
The 2022 award is the largest to date in terms of submissions and the number of participating countries, its organisers said. More than 3,000 submissions were sent in from 55 countries, including 20 Arab nations and 35 foreign countries, an increase of about 28 per cent on 2021.