Arabic Booker Prize shortlist announced
ABU DHABI // Six authors, one from Saudi Arabia, one from Sudan, two from Morocco and two from Egypt, were named as the shortlisted finalists of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2011, also known as the Arabic Book Prize.
The announcement was made earlier today in Doha, the Arab Capital of Culture for 2010, by Iraqi poet and novelist Fadhil al Azzawi, the 2011 chair of judges who currently resides in Germany.
Four other judges, an Bahraini, Italian, Jordanian and Moroccan, will make up the five member panel of judges, who are expected to announce the winner on March 14.
The shortlisted finalists are Mohammed Achaari from Morocco, for his novel The Arch and the Butterfly; Raja Alem from Saudi Arabia, for her novel The Doves’ Necklace; Khalid al Bari from Egypt for his novel An Oriental Dance; Bensalem Himmich from Morocco for his novel My Tormentor; Amir Taj al Sir from Sudan for his novel The Hunter of the Chrysalises; and Miral al Tahawy from Egypt for her novel Brooklyn Heights.
This is not Mr Himmich’s first submission; in 2009, he was longlisted for his novel The Man from Andalucia.
The six authors were chosen from a longlist of 16, announced last month. This year, 123 submissions from across the Arab world were considered - all are prose fiction written in Arabic, which is a condition of the prize.
Each of the shortlisted authors will receive $10,000 (Dh37,000). The eventual winner will be awarded $50,000 (Dh184,000).
This is the fourth year running for the prize, which is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation and funded by the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy.
Previous winners are Bahaa Taher from Egypt for his novel “Sunset Oasis” in 2008; Youssef Ziedan, also from Egyptian, for his novel “Azazel” in 2009; and the 2010 winner Abdo Khal from Saudi Arabia, for his novel “Spewing Sparks as Big as Castles”.
At a glance
Title, Author, Publisher, Nationality
The Arch and the Butterfly, Mohammed Achaari, Al-Markaz al-Thaqafi al-Arabi (Arab Cultural Centre), Moroccan
The Doves’ Necklace, Raja Alem, Al-Markaz al-Thaqafi al-Arabi (Arab Cultural Centre), Saudi Arabian
An Oriental Dance, Khalid al Bari, El-Ain Publishing, Egyptian
My Tormentor, Bensalem Himmich, Dar El Shorouk, Moroccan
The Hunter of the Chrysalises (or The Head Hunter), Amir Taj al Sir, Thaqafa l-al-Nashr (Cultural Publications), Sudanese
Brooklyn Heights, Miral al Tahawy, Dar Merit, Egyptian