ArabLit and 7iber are jointly covering this year’s Internation Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) — in English and Arabic — beginning with reviews of the novels and interviews with longlisted novelists. The first is Amir Tag Elsir’s 366:
Amir Tag Elsir was born in 1960 in a village in northern Sudan. He studied medicine in Egypt and at the British Royal College of Medicine, where he first began to write. After he moved back to Sudan, he went on a long hiatus from writing, but began writing again when he moved to Qatar to work as a physician. He has published 16 books, including novels, biographies and poetry. Tag Elsir was also shortlisted for the IPAF in 2011 for his novel The Grub Hunter, which has been translated into English and Italian.
His 366 “is the love letter of one man to a woman who doesn’t even know he exists. The protagonist falls in love with Asmaa the moment he sees her at a relative’s wedding. Captivated, he begins a quest to find her, searching everywhere from wedding photographs to the street, the neighbourhood and the faces of other women. He even looks for her in horoscopes, in love stories and in his own vivid imagination.”
A brief excerpt of 366
A review from Tunisian poet Inas Abassi: A Novel of Love and Crime, Beautifully Told
An interview with ArabLit: Amir Tag Elsir on How the Internet Has Changed His Writing and the Inspiration of ‘Majnoon Leyla’
Look for ongoing coverage on ArabLit and 7iber.com, including Arabic versions on 7iber.