Saudi Arabian author Abdo Khal is the winner of the 2010 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for Spewing Sparks As Big As Castles.
Abdo Khal wins the 2010 Arabic Fiction prize
ABU DHABI // The Saudi Arabian author Abdo Khal has been named as the winner of the 2010 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his novel Spewing Sparks As Big As Castles, which is also translated as She Throws Sparks. The satirical novel, set in a palace, deals with the destructive impact that power and limitless wealth have on life and the environment. The chairman of the four-man judging panel, the Kuwaiti writer Taleb Alrefai, said Spewing Sparks As Big As Castles was "a brilliant exploration of the relationship between the individual and the state". He said: "Through the eyes of its two-dimensional protagonist, the book gives the reader a taste of the horrifying reality of the excessive world of the palace. "Although only one novel can win the prize, many exciting and inspiring novels were submitted. The judging panel worked hard in order to consider all this year's submitted novels, maintaining the established tradition of independence and transparency." The announcement was made at a gala dinner that coincided with the first day of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2010. Khal, orn in 1962 in a small village in southwestern Saudi Arabia, studied in Riyadh and Jeddah, earning a bachelor's degree in political science from King Abdel Aziz University in 1987. He is the chief editor of the Saudi newspaper Okaz, for which he also writes a daily column. The prize is awarded annually with the support of the UK's Booker Prize Foundation and is funded by the Emirates Foundation, one of the leading philanthropic organisations in the UAE. * The National