Sheikh Zayed Book Award Announces 13-book Literature Longlist

Yesterday, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) announced the 13-book literature longlist in its 13th year:

These 13 longlisted titles — which include acclaimed novels such as Hoda Barakat’s Night Post and Inaam Kachachi’s The Castaway — were chosen from among 382 nominations, most of which came from Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

The list is made up of two poetry collections, a memoir by acclaimed Moroccan author Bensalem Himmich, and ten novels. One, Divers of the Empty Quarter, by Saudi novelist Amal al-Faran, was published in 2016. The rest came out in 2017 or 2018.

  1. Novel: Esmy Fatima (My Name is Fatima) by Egyptian writer Amro Al Adly (2017)
  2. Novel: Al Yad Al Dafe’a (The Warm Hand) by Palestinian writer Yahya Yakhlif (2017)
  3. Novel: Terter (The Sequin Embroidery) by Iraqi novelist Nizar Abdelsattar (2018)
  4. Novel: Ard Al Mo’amarat Al Sa’eeda (Land of Happy Plots) by Yemeni author Wajdi Al-Ahdal (2018)
  5. Novel: Share’ Salem (Salem Street) by Norwegian author Nizar Agri (2017)
  6. Novel: Al Warda Al Qatela (The Deadly Rose) by Saudi author Ibrahim Shehbi (2018)
  7. Novel: Ghawaso Al Ahqaf (Divers of the Empty Quarter) by Saudi novelist Amal Al Faran (2016)
  8. Novel: Bareed Al Lail (Night Post) by Lebanese novelist Hoda Barakat (2018)
  9. Novel: E’mt Sabahan Ayatoha al Harb (Good Morning War) by Syrian/French novelist Maha Hasan (2017)
  10. Novel: Al Nabeetha (The Castaway), by Iraqi author Inaam Kachachi (2017)
  11. Poetry:  Korsy Ala Al Zabd (A Chair on the Sea Foam) by Lebanese author Mohammed Ali Chamseddine (2018)
  12. Poetry: La Arany (I Don’t See Me) by Egyptian author Ahmed Al Shahawi (2018)
  13. Memoir: Al That Bayn Al Wujood Wal Eijad (The Self: Between Existence and Creation), by Moroccan novelist Bensalem Himmich (2018)

Previous winners include Syrian novelist Khalil Sweileh’s Ikhtibar al-Nadam (Remorse Test); The Madmen of Bethlehem by Palestinian writer Osama Alaysa; Ma wara’a al kitaba (Beyond Writing), by Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid; and Abdel Rasheed Mahmoudi’s After Coffeenow available in translation by Nashwa Gowanlock.

Read an excerpt of Hoda Barakat’s The Night Post in Robin Moger’s translation.