Coronavirus Caution Leads to Cancellation of Ceremony for 2020 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction has cancelled the 2020 awards ceremony; details about how the winner will be announced are still forthcoming:

This announcement comes as the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair — set to take place from April 15-21 — has been postponed to the end of May as a “precautionary measure to protect public health.”

The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction is traditionally announced the evening before the fair opens. This year, it was set for Tuesday, April 14.

In a prepared statement, prize organizers wrote:

The decision to take this precautionary measure stems from international recommendations for the preservation of public health.

Further details about the prize process will be announced in due course through the website and in coordination with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

The year’s six-book shortlist includes one previous shortlistee (the acclaimed Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy) and a previous winner, Youssef Ziedan, who took the 2009 prize for his novel Azazeelwhich was later translated to English by Humphrey Davies.

The full six-book shortlist is:

The Spartan Court by Abdelouahab Aissaoui

The Russian Quarter by Khalil Alrez

The King of India by Jabbour Douaihy

Firewood of Sarajevo by Said Khatibi

The Tank by Alia Mamdouh

Fardeqan – the Detention of the Great Sheikh by Youssef Ziedan

Read more on and from the shortlisted authors:

Abdelouahab Aissaoui on Publishing Realities, Challenges, and Dreams in Algeria

Jabbour Douaihy on ‘The King of India’

Said Khatibi on the Entanglements of Story in Bosnia and Algeria

‘Firewood of Sarajevo’: Testimonies against Amnesia and for an Alternative History

New Fiction: An Excerpt from Alia Mamdouh’s IPAF-longlisted ‘The Tank’

The shortlisted authors’ novels already in English translation:

Jabbour Douaihy’s Autumn Equinox ,tr. Nay Hannawi, won the Arkansas Arabic Translation Award.

Douaihy’s June Rain was shortlisted for the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) in 2008 and published in English, in Paula Haydar’s translation, in 2014.

Douaihy’s The American Neighborhood, also translated by Haydar, was longlisted for the IPAF in 2015.

Douaihy’s Printed in Beirut was, similarly, translated by Haydar.

Douaihy’s novel The Vagrant, shortlisted for the IPAF 2012, is not in English. However, a translation by Stephanie Dujols won the 2013 ‘Prix de la Jeune Litterature Arabe.’

Said Khatibi’s Forty Years Waiting for Isabelle was translated by “Emisia Creative.”

Youssef Ziedan’s Azazeel was translated by Jonathan Wright.

Alia Mamdouh’s Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad was translated by Peter Theroux.

Mamdouh’s Mothballs was also translated by Theroux.

Mamdouh’s The Loved Ones was translated by Marilyn Booth

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