‘Shatila Stories,’ ‘My Name is Adam’ Make €20K EBRD Lit-prize Longlist

Two books translated from Arabic — and one by Abdelfattah Kilito — made the second annual European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Literature Prize longlist:

The Arabic novels that made the 2019 EBRD Literature Prize’s ten-book longlist were: Elias Khoury’s My Name is Adam, translated by Humphrey Davies, and the collaborative novel Shatila Stories, translated by Nashwa Gowanlock. Kilito’s The Clash of Imagesalso on the EBRD longlist, was translated from French by Robyn Cresswell.

The €20,000 prize is split equally between author and translator. The prize aims, it says, to promote the literature of countries where the bank operates, which includes “countries from eastern Europe to the Baltic States, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean.” To be eligible, translations must be published in the UK.

A three-book shortlist is set to be announced on Feb. 18. The two runners-up and their translators will also receive a prize of €1,000 each.

The other seven longlisted titles:

Lala by Jacek Dehnel, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (One World)

Soviet Milk by Nora Ikstena, translated by Margita Gaelitis (Peirene Press)

The Devil’s Dance by Hamid Ismailov, translated by Donald Rayfield (with John Farndon) (Tilted Axis Press)

The Peace Machine by Özgür Mumcu, translated by Mark David Wyers (Pushkin Press)

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

The Aviator by Eugene Vodolazkin, translated by Lisa C. Hayden (One World)

The Book of Whispers by Varujan Vosganian, translated by Alastair Ian Blyth (Yale University Press)

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  1. […] In 2015 Peirene began commissioning new titles to respond directly to contemporary political dialogue. While many issue-based responses are written at a distance from the issue itself – through temporary immersion which may feel a bit gonzo – Peirene decided to go one step further. Shatila Stories is a deeply affecting story of the life of Palestinian refugees in the Shatila camp in Beirut, written collaboratively by residents of the camp. Deservingly, Shatila Stories made the long-list of the EBRD literature prize this week. […]

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