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2024 International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist Revealed

2024 International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist Revealed

The books shortlisted for the 17th International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) are now known. These include “Makkah Multiverse 1945-2009” by Raja Alem, “Suleima’s Ring” by Rima Bali, “The Seventh Heaven of Jerusalem” by Osama Al-Eissa, “A Mask, the Colour of the Sky” by Basim Khandaqji, “Gambling on the Honour of Lady Mitsy” by Ahmed Al-Morsi, and “The Mosaicist” by Eissa Nasiri.


 

The shortlist announcement took place in Riyadh at a press conference led by the current Chair of Judges, Syrian writer Nabil Suleiman. Other participants included Palestinian writer Sonia Nimr, Czech academic František Ondráš, Egyptian critic and journalist Mohamed Shoair, and Sudanese writer and journalist Hammour Ziada. IPAF’s Chair of Trustees, Yasir Suleiman, and Prize Administrator Fleur Montanaro were also present.

2024 International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist Revealed

The authors on the shortlist include two women and four men, spanning ages 31 to 60, and hailing from five different countries. Each writer brings a unique storytelling style, collectively delving into a diverse array of important and timely themes. They are as follows:

2024 International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist Revealed

Nabil Suleiman, the Chair of Judges in 2024, expressed that the shortlisted novels provide a deep exploration of fictional history, connecting the distant past with the present and future. The narratives weave together various civilizations and art forms, tackling themes like war, body, family dynamics, identity, oppression, and the collective human desire for freedom and justice. These novels passionately engage with the current challenges, wars, exiles, and uprisings in the Arab world, offering diverse creative expressions with a global perspective.

2024 International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist Revealed

Professor Yasir Suleiman, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, highlighted that the shortlisted novels create a nuanced sense of place, reflecting a diverse tapestry of humanity. These stories deeply delve into the past to uncover the present, resulting in compelling narratives that emerge from broken moments. The novels resonate with memories of a disappearing past, the pursuit of hope overshadowed by inevitable forgetfulness. They transport readers to historical Mecca, the troubled present of Jerusalem’s Old City, and the scarred city of Aleppo. Remarkably, this marks the first time a novel from an Israeli jail reaches readers beyond its literal walls.

2024 International Prize for Arabic Fiction Shortlist Revealed

The recipient of the 17th International Prize for Arabic Fiction will be revealed on Sunday, April 28, 2024, during a ceremony in Abu Dhabi. The event will also be accessible through online streaming.

IPAF aims to recognize excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and promote the global readership of high-quality Arabic literature. This is achieved through translating and publishing winning and shortlisted novels in major languages. Notable IPAF winners published in English include Jalal Barjas’ “The Bookseller’s Notebooks” (2021) and Mohammed Alnaas’ “Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table” (2022). The 2024 shortlist event collaborated with the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission.


 


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