Friday saw the the six-strong shortlist revealed for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). Mourid Barghouti, author of the award-winning ‘I Saw Ramallah’ and chair of judges for the prize, made the annoucement at the Casablanca International Book Fair: ‘Reading the 180 novels nominated for the Prize this year, the judges observed that their thematic concerns were broadly similar. Our objective was to identify the ability of the novelists to find artistic solutions and fresh technical approaches to their themes. We believe that this is reflected in the six novels announced today.’ The chosen novels explore the legacies of violence, migration and colonialism in the region from the 19th-century Mahdist War to the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982 and beyond.
In a line-up of authors that reflects an age group from 30-67, two female writers are shortlisted authors. IPAF's announcement was closely followed by the opening of the First Cairo International Literature Festival, inaugurated by Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, while further book highlights include the upcoming Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in March. The IPAF winner will be announced in May at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
Read more about the shortlisted authors here