Eight Novels Chosen as Finalists for 2023 Prix de la Littérature Arabe

JULY 14, 2023 — This week, organizers announced the eight-book list of finalists for the 2023 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 — one of the few in French that focus on Arab literary works — grants its winner €10,000. This year, half are translations and half were written originally in French. Although none are yet in English, Samar Yazbek’s Where the Wind Calls Home is set to appear in early 2024.

The finalists:

  • Je me souviens de Falloujah (I Remember Fallujah), by the Iraqi writer Feurat Alani, ed. JC Lattes
  • Les Portes du paradis (The Gates of Paradise), translated from the Arabic by Luc Barbulesco, by Kuwaiti writer Taleb Alrefai, éd. Actes Sud
  • Les jardins de Basra (The Gardens of Basra), translated from the Arabic by Philippe Vigreux, by Egyptian writer Mansoura Ez-Eldin, éd. Actes Sud
  • Les Cinq Soeurs (The Five Sisters), by Lebanese writer Percy Kemp, éd. Seuil
  • Noir Liban (Black Lebanon), by Lebanese writer Salma Kojok, éd. Erick Bonnier
  • Sur le méridien de Greenwich (On the Greenwich Line), translated from Arabic by Sophie Pommier et May Rostom, by Egyptian writer Shady Lewis, éd. Actes Sud
  • Si j’avais un franc (If I Had a Franc), by Algerian writer Abdelkrim Saifi, éd. Anne Carrière
  • La demeure du vent (Where the Wind Calls Home), translated from Arabic by Khaled Osman and Ola Mehanna, by Syrian writer Samar Yazbek, éd. Stock

Since its creation by the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation and the Arab World Institute in 2013, the prize has gone to more than a dozen writers from across the region, including Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy, Saudi writer Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Iraqi novelist Inaam Kachachi, Egyptian novelist Mohammed Abdelnami, Omani writer Jokha Alharthi, Tunisian writer Yaman Manai, and Sudanese novelist Hammour Ziada.

The winner is set to be announced at a ceremony on November 28, 2023.