Egyptian author Salwa Bakr and Indian novelist and activist Arundhati Roy were two of three winners for the 2017 Mahmoud Darwish Prize, announced earlier this month in Ramallah:
The third winner of the prize — announced each year on the anniversary of Darwish’s birth — was Palestinian historian Maher Sharif. The winners were announced by Palestinian writer Ghassan Zaqtan, one of last year’s three laureates.
There is a cash award of $25,000 for each of the winners.
The prize jury was a who’s-who of Arab writers. Chaired by Faisal Darraj, it also included prominent authors Ibrahim Abdelmeguid, Said al-Kafrawi, Basma Nsour, Jamal Naji, Hisham Bustani, Jabbour Douaihy, and Louay Hamza Abbas.
Zaqtan reportedly said, at the announcement, that the award upholds the values for which Mahmoud Darwish fought.
Last year’s prizes went to Zaqtan, Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury, and US novelist Alice Walker.
Read an essay about Bakr by Elisabeth Jaquette: “Women and Arabic Literature.”
Also read the short story “The Rooster’s Egg,” trans. Chip Rossetti.