Sixteen authors longlisted for UAE-sponsored Arabic fiction prize

A panel of five judges selected titles from 156 entries representing 18 countries for the annual literary prize.

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ABU DHABI // Sixteen authors representing nine countries are in the running for the prestigious International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2014.

The annual literary prize for prose fiction in Arabic is funded by the Tourism and Culture Authority, with the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London.

The list of 16 novels in contention for the prize was announced on Tuesday. A panel of five judges selected the titles from 156 entries representing 18 countries, all published within the past 12 months.

The longlisted authors come from nine countries, with most from Morocco, Iraq and Egypt. Five of the authors have been previously nominated for the prize.

The longlisted authors are Egyptians Ibrahim Abdelmeguid, Ahmed Mourad, Ashraf Al Khamaisi; Saudi Arabian Badryah El-Bishr; Lebanese Antoine Douaihy; Sudanese Amir Tag Elsir; Moroccans Youssef Fadel, Ismail Ghazali, Abdelrahim Lahbibi; Kuwaiti Ismail Fahd Ismail; Iraqis Inaam Kachachi, Abdel Khaliq Al Rikabi, Ahmed Saadawi; Syrian Khaled Khalifa; Algerian Waciny Laredj; and Jordanian-Palestinian Ibrahim Nasrallah.

This is the seventh year of the competition, which is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction in the Arab world. The shortlist will be announced in Jordan on February 10. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on April 29, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

The six shortlisted finalists will receive US$10,000 (Dh36,731), with an additional $50,000 going to the winner.

“This year’s longlist contains a set of excellent works of fiction that testify to the quality of Arabic literature,” said Prof Yasir Suleiman, chair of the board of trustees. “It is enormously gratifying to witness the role Ipaf has played in promoting Arabic fiction among Arab readers and international audiences through translation.”