Several news organizations today announced that Abdo Khal’s Spewing Sparks as Big as Castles, which won the 2010 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (or “Arabic Booker”), is not banned in the Kingdom.
According to the Saudi Gazette:
The Ministry of Culture and Information said Thursday that Abdo Khal’s award-winning novel had not been withdrawn from sale at the Riyadh Book Fair, but had instead “sold out” due to a resurge of interest following the announcement Tuesday of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
Khal had said in earlier interviews that his novels are not available in Saudi Arabia.
In any case, the award will certainly lead to more scrutiny of the writer. He noted at the post-award press conference: “I am maybe imprisoned by the Booker. Just give me the money and leave me alone.”