Books from nine countries — including six by those on previous International Prize for Arabic Fiction lists and 10 newcomers — have been longlisted for the 2020 prize:
This morning, International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) organizers revealed both the 16-book longlist for the 2020 prize and the five-judge panel, which is being chaired by Iraqi critic Muhsin al-Musawi.
Those chosen for preivous IPAF lists are: Rasha Adly (longlisted in 2017), Magbool Al-Alawi (longlisted in 2011); Jabbour Douaihy (twice shortlisted and once longlisted); Samir Kacimi (longlisted in 2010); Khaled Khalifa (twice shortlisted); Bachir Mefti (shortlisted in 2012), and Youssef Ziedan (winner of the 2009 prize).
The list also includes novels by acclaimed authors Alia Mamdouh and Salim Barakat, both on the list for the first time.
The full longlist:
|Author||Title||Country of origin||Publisher|
|Rasha Adly||The Last Days of the Pasha||Egypt||Arab Scientific Publishers|
|Abdelouahab Aissaoui||The Spartan Court||Algeria||Dar Min|
|Magbool Al-Alawi||Seferberlik||Saudi Arabia||Dar Al Saqi|
|Khalil Alrez||The Russian Quarter||Syria||Difaf Publishing|
|Hassan Aourid||Al-Mutanabbi’s Rabat||Morocco||Al-Markez al-Thaqafi al-Arabi|
|Salim Barakat||What About Rachel, the Jewish Lady?||Syria||Arabic Institute for Research and Publishing|
|Jabbour Douaihy||The King of India||Lebanon||Dar Al Saqi|
|Mohammed Eissa al-Mu’adab / Mohammed Eissa Mouaddeb||Hammam Dhahab||Tunisia||Mesaa|
|Aisha Ibrahim||The War of the Gazelle||Libya||Tripoli Scientific Bookshop|
|Azhar Jerjis||Sleeping in the Cherry Field||Iraq||Dar al-Rafidain|
|Samir Kacimi||The Stairs of Trolar||Algeria||Editions Barzakh|
|Khaled Khalifa||No One Prayed Over Their Graves||Syria||Hachette Antoine/Naufal|
|Said Khatibi||Firewood of Sarajevo||Algeria||Al-Ikhtilef|
|Alia Mamdouh||The Tank||Iraq||Al-Mutawassit|
|Bachir Mefti||The Mingling of the Seasons||Algeria||Al-Ikhtilef|
|Youssef Ziedan||Fardeqan – the Detention of the Great Sheikh||Egypt||Dar al-Shorouk|
The novels selected by the judges were chosen from 128 entries, all published between July 2018 and June 2019.
This year’s panel of judges, chaired by Muhsin al-Musawi, also includes Lebanese critic Pierre Abi Saab, Egyptian journalist Reem Magued, Algerian novelist Amin Zaoui, and Russian academic Viktoria Zarytovskaya.
Al-Musawi said in a prepared statement that the novels on the longlist share a concern “with the crisis of the individual and of humanity as a whole, while strongly inclined to experimentation with the narrative form. The submitted novels were highly competitive in their subject matter and style, so in choosing this longlist the judging panel concentrated on the craftsmanship of the novel, the variety of its approaches and the richness of its stylistic, intellectual and thematic substance.”
In his statement Yasir Suleiman, chair of the Board of Trustees, noted that the longlist was dominated by North African writers, with four books by Algerians, one by a Moroccan writer, one from Tunisia, one from Libya, and two from Egypt. No publisher, this year, had more than two books on the longlist.
The shortlist is set to be announced at a press conference in Morocco on February 4, 2020, with the winner announced April 14, 2020 in Abu Dhabi.