3 Iraqis on Almultaqa Short Story Prize’s 2018 Longlist

On Monday, The American University of Kuwait announced the 2018 longlist of the Almultaqa Prize for the Arabic Short Story, made up of 10 short-story collections from eight countries:

This year, the award’s third, was dedicated to the memory of Kuwait writer Ismail Fahd Ismail, who died last month. The beloved novelist and short-story writer was one of the founders of the prize and a member of its Board of Trustees.

According to Almultaqa’s news release, the five-person jury, chaired by Kuwaiti critic Suad Alenzi, considered 197 short-story collections from around the world. That’s up slightly from the 189 collections that were considered during the prize’s first year, although down from the 239 that were submitted for its second.

The judges’ discussions, according to the release, were harmonious. The release also touted the strong showing of women writers.

The ten longlisted collections:

The Invention of Pain, by Algerian writer Mohammed Jaafar

The Children of Recent Times, by Kuwaiti writer Faisal al-Habini

To Where the Compass Points, by Syrian writer and playwright Sanna Aoun

Like Any Blessed Corpse, by Palestinian-Jordanian writer Samia El-Atout

A Haven for Absence, by Egyptian novelist and short-story writer Mansoura Ez-Eldin

Are You Buying My Clothes, by Saudi poet and short-story writer Balqis Al-Melhem

Compound Monsters, by Palestinian writer Mutawakkil Taha

Lululululeee, by Iraqi writer Raghad al-Suheil

Kunkaan, by Iraqi writer Saad Mohammed Raheem

There are No Windmills in Basra, by Iraqi writer Diaa Jubaili

The debut winner, in 2016, was Mazen Maarouf’s Jokes for the Gunmen, which is forthcoming next year from Granta Books in Jonathan Wright’s translation. In 2017, Shahla Ujayli won the prize’s second round for her collection Bed of the King’s Daughter.

The shortlist of five collections is scheduled to be announced November 1, with the winner announced December 1. The winner will receive $20,000.

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