The 10,000€ prize is sponsored by by the Arab World Institute and the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation.
The jury also gave a 5,000€ special mention to Reda Dalil’s Best-seller (2016) whose “resolutely contemporary writing shows very promising talent.”
Kachachi is the Prix de la Littérature Arabe’s fourth laureate, and the first from Iraq. This is not the first award for her Tashari — an Iraqi word for a hunting rifle that scatters buckshot in all directions. The novel was also shortlisted for the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF).
Tashari tells the story of an Iraqi Christian doctor, Wardiya, who is forced to seek asylum in France at the end of her life, at 84, having seen her family scattered to all corners of the earth.
In a 2014 interview for ArabLit, Kachachi said: “For years I’ve been collecting the content and the documentation for Tashari and transposing it into fiction. The writing itself took me over a year, but don’t forget that I’ve been working with the language and a trainer about the editing for over 40 years. The pregnancy period was long, but eventually a child was given birth without a c-section.”
Kachachi has also published a biography, Lorna, about the British artist Lorna Hales. Her debut novel Heart Springs appeared in 2005, and her second novel, The American Granddaughter, was shortlisted for IPAF in 2009.
Reda Dalil is a Moroccan journalist and writer. His first novel, The Job, took the Manounia prize in 2014. Best-Seller is his sophomore work.
The award ceremony is set for October 12, 2016, to be held at the Arab World Institute in Paris.