Eight Novels Chosen as Finalists for 2021 Prix de La Littérature Arabe

Organizers announced the eight novels chosen for the Prix de La Littérature Arabe, a French prize that celebrates literature by Arab authors written in French or literature translated from Arabic to French:

The prize, created in 2013 by the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation and the Arab World Institute, is now in its ninth year. This year’s prize features a wide range of books from Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Algeria, Mauritania, Oman, and Palestine. Three of the books are also available in English translation.

This year, the majority of the selected books are translations, with more than half published by Actes Sud.

The eight finalists are:

Les corps célestes (Celestial Bodies) by Omani author Jokha Alharthi, translated from Arabic by Khaled Osman) ed. Stéphane Marsan.

La théorie des aubergines (The Theory of Aubergines) by Moroccan writer Leïla Bahsaïn, ed. Albin Michel.

Monsieur N. (Mr. Nuun), by Najwa Barakat, translated from Arabic by Philippe Vigreux, ed. Actes Sud

Le Silence des horizons (The Silence of Horizons) by Mauritanian author Beyrouk, ed. Elyzad;

Un jour idéal pour mourir (A Perfect Day to Die), by Algerian author Samir Kacimi, translated from Arabic by Lofti Nia, ed. Actes Sud

Dernière oasis (Final Oasis), by Lebanese author Charif Majdalani (Lebanon), ed. Actes Sud

Le cas critique du dénommé K (The Critical Case of the Man Called K), by Saudi author Aziz Mohammed, translated from Arabic by Simon Corthay, ed. Actes Sud

Un détail mineur (Minor Detail), by Palestinian author Adania Shibli, translated from Arabic by Stéphanie Dujols, ed. Actes Sud


Najwa Barakat’s Monsieur N is also on the list of finalists for the 2021 Prix Femina.

Last year’s winner was Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin’s Les Jango, translated by Xavier Luffin. The 2021 winner — who will be awarded 10,000 euro — will be announced this fall.