Al-Madhoun’s IPAF-winning ‘Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba’ to Hoopoe, Expected 2018

Just after the release of the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) longlist yesterday, 2016 IPAF winner Raba’i al-Madhoun announced that his Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba’ will be appearing next year from Hoopoe Fiction:

rabaiAl-Madhoun, whose 2010 novel The Lady of Tel Aviv was also shortlisted for the IPAF, builds on the themes and characters of that earlier novel with Destinies. The character Walid Dahman reappears, and his story of exile and rediscovery is woven into this new book’s “concerto in four movements.”

That novel was translated by Elliott Colla and published by Telegram.

Al-Madhoun said on Facebook that he’d been through negotiations with several British publish houses, but settled on Hoopoe Fiction, an imprint of AUC Press. He added they were expecting a release by the middle of 2018.

Hoopoe also already acquired rights to Mohamed Abdelnaby’s In the Spider’s Room, longlisted for this year’s 2017 IPAF, and is bringing out Sinan Antoon’s IPAF-shortlisted Ya Mariam as Baghdad Eucharist (translated by Maia Tabet).

Interlink, meanwhile, has secured rights to Jabbour Douaihy’s Printed in Beirut (Douaihy declined to have it submitted for the prize) and his 2015 longlisted American Neighborhood. They will be translated by Paula Haydar, who previously did a beautiful job with Douaihy’s June Rain, published by BQFP.

The prize subsidizes the translations of its winners into English. Ahmed Saadawi’s 2015-IPAF-winning Frankenstein in Baghdad is also forthcoming early next year, translated by Jonathan Wright.


  1. And still no Druze of Belgrade in English… Whatever happened to that translation?

    1. Perhaps New Directions will eventually bring it out?

      Generally, my understanding is that Rabee parted ways with his agent, and he doesn’t always answer his email, so it’s become a it hard for publishers to acquire his work.

      1. Part of me wishes he’d done an Elena Ferrante and didn’t have to deal with anything outside of his writing. I think it would suit him.

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