Late last week, Jean-Luc Lagardère and the Arab World Institute Foundation announced the eight titles on the shortlist for the first ever ‘Prix de la Jeune Litterature Arabe’:
To be eligible for the prize, books can be written in Arabic and translated into French, or else written originally in French. But, in either case, authors must be nationals of an Arab League country. The eight shortlisted titles are:
I Was Born Eight Times, by Saber Mansouri (Seuil)
Amir, by Nabil Naoum, trans. Luc Barbulesco (Actes Sud / Sindbad)
Chibani, by Ahmed Dich (Editions Anne Carrière)
The Last Was a Young Man, by Salim Bachi (Flammarion)
St. George Was Looking Away, (شريد المنازل) by Jabbour Douaihy, trans. Stephanie Dujols (Actes Sud / Sindbad)
Biculturals: Building Between Two Cultures, by Hayat El Yamani (Editions Anne Carrière)
The Last Lord of Marsad, by Charif Majdalani (Seuil)
The Hipster, (الغلامة) by Alia Mamdouh, trans. Stephanie Dujols (Actes Sud)
Majdalani’s Le Dernier Seigneur de Marsad, his fourth novel, is also on the longlist for the Prix Médicis. I don’t believe that any of these have sold English-language rights, not even — I don’t think — شريد المنازل.
The jury, chaired by Pierre Leroy, also boasts celebrated novelists Mohammed Berrada and Mahi Binebine, Mustapha Bouhayati, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach, Gilles Gauthier, Alaxandre Najjar, Kaoutar Harchi, and Fouad Laroui.
The prize ceremony is set for Nov. 20 at the Arab World Institute.