‘Best Arabic Novel Award’ at This Year’s Sharjah Book Fair Goes to Banned ‘The Taste of the Wolf’

For the year’s “Best Arabic Novel Award,” judges at the Sharjah International Book Fair chose Kuwaiti novelist Abdullah al-Busais’s The Taste of the Wolf (2016):

The novel is set in the desert, and the wolf is both character and metaphor for the behaviors of men.

The winning book, according to the prize guidelines,  must be “new and unique in its field” and not have won a previous literary award. Despite being well-received and reviewed, The Taste of the Wolf did not make the International Prize for Arabic Fiction longlist.

The novel was banned in Kuwait, according to Kuwaiti novelist Bothayna al-Essa, because it contains words like “pee,” as the protagonist pees down his leg. Al-Busais’s previous novel, Stray Memories, was also banned.