Organizers of AlMultaqa Prize for the Arabic Short Story have announced their 2019 shortlist, made up of five short-story collections by authors from five different countries:
The five shortlisted collections:
Burning the Loaf, by Saudi writer Wafaa Al Harb
The Last Hour, by Tunisian writer Sufian Rajabi
Munch’s Scream, by Omani writer Mahmoud Al Rahbi
Order C345, by Palestinian writer Sheikha Hussein Halwi
The City Eats Itself, by Egyptian writer Sherif Saleh
Judges’ statements about each of the collections is available at Almultaqa’s website.
According to organizers, 209 eligible collections were submitted to the prize, with the most (80) coming from Egypt. The entries came from a total of 22 countries, which also included Saudi Arabia (19), Iraq (18), Syria (14), Morocco (12), Jordan (10) 7, Yemen (6), UAE (5), Oman (4), Kuwait (4), Libya (2) and Iran, Sudan, Lebanon, France, Ukraine, Belgium, the USA, and Canada.
The 2019 jury is made up of Spanish translator-scholar Luis Miguel Pérez Cañada, who is the chair of judges; Egyptian academic Said Al-Wakil; Jordanian author Rami Abu Shehab; Moroccan critic Abdel Razzaq Al-Mesbahi; and Kuwaiti novelist Basima al-Enezi.
The winner of the prize is set to be announced at the beginning of December.
The prize has had three winners thus far: Mazen Maarouf’s Jokes for the Gunmen, which made the 2019 Man Booker International longlist in Jonathan Wright’s translation, Shahla Ujayli’s Bed of the King’s Daughter, and Diaa Jubaili’s No Windmills in Basra. One of the stories from No Windmills appears in the Winter/Spring 2019 issue of ArabLit Quarterly, in Yasmeen Hanoosh’s translation.