On the second day of the new year, Tariq Ali was awarded the Granadillo 2010 (in Granada, of course) for his series of novels called The Islam Quintet.

It is a quintet, although only four books have seen light. The fifth (and final) volume, The Night of the Golden Butterfly, is due out in April, from Verso.

Ali’s acceptance speech is available on his website. You can also read The Guardian’s review of his fourth book in the series, A Sultan in Palermo.

Now, this isn’t really Arabic literature (in English), but instead English literature by a man born in Lahore and educated at Oxford. But, you know, we can’t always live inside our boundaries.

For those interested in the tangled web (of cultural and literary translation) we weave, Youssef Rakha has a piece about it on his blog.