This year’s seven Sheikh Zayed Book Award shortlists have been announced:
As in previous years, the names of the judges weren’t revealed, but there are ” three to five judges” for each of the seven categories. After the selection committee submits its nominations, the names are reviewed and endorsed by a board of trustees.
The “literature” category named four titles:
The Stranger of the River by Jordanian-Palestinian author Jamal Naji, published by Al Dar Al Arabiyyah Lil Oloum 2012. Naji’s When the Wolves Grow Old was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) in 2010. He began writing in 1975, and his first novel, The Road to Balharith, was published in 1981. His other novels include: Time, The Remnants of the Last Storms, Life on the Edge of Death, The Night of the Feathers, What Happened Thursday and The Target.
Butterflies for Buddha’s Smile by Lebanese poet Shawqi Bazi’ (published by Dar Al Adab 2013). A translation of Bazi”s “They Claimed it Was a Morning” can be found on the Angry Arab website. He has published 11 poetry collections, among them The Rose of Sorrow, Epic of Dust, Lonesome and Early Desires.
Diwan of Marine Fishing, by Tunisian poet Munsef Al Wahaybi (published by Dar Afaq 2013).
After Coffee, by Egyptian novelist Abdul Rashid Mahmoudi (published by Al Dar Al Arabiyya Library 2013). More about Mahmoudi’s book on GoodReads.
There were eleven titles on the longlist, which was announced in January.
The “children’s literature” category named three to its shortlist:
A Miracle in the Desert, by Egyptian writer Yacoub Al Sharooni (published by Dar Nahdet Misr 2013)
Raghda’s Hat, by Jordanian writer Taghreed Al Najjar (published by Al Salwa Publications 2012). Al Najjar is also the author of Sitt al-Kol, shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature, as well as many other books.
Thirty Poems for Children, by Lebanese writer Jawdat Fakhr Al Din (published by Dar Al Hada’eq 2013).
In a news release, Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Sheikh Zayed Book Award Secretary General, said: “We appraised works against stringent, quantifiable scoring criteria to arrive at 3 to 4 eligible contenders per category in light of a rigorous review of the judges’ panel reports.”
The winners will be announced next month and the awards will be presented on May 4 to coincide with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which will run from April 30 to May 5. The last two years, no winner has been chosen for the SZBA literature award.