The novel has been vibrantly and compellingly translated by Jonathan Wright, and is forthcoming from Hoopoe Fiction at the end of July.
International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF)
“I worked on the idea of fear because people in Syria — or any other country that’s under such a regime — are not only afraid of the regime, they are afraid of being afraid. It’s a condition that precedes the fear, meaning people are afraid because they are going to be afraid, and I worked from that point.”
By giving Ali al-Najdi a voice, al-Refai introduces the readers to the man behind the sea-faring legend.
“The last thing I need is that people read me because my book is forbidden. I need people to read it because they want to read it.”
English translations of two of the shortlisted books are already forthcoming: Shahad al-Rawi’s The Baghdad Clock is set to appear this summer from OneWorld, in Luke Leafgren’s translation, while Dima Wannous’s The Frightened Ones is forthcoming from Harvill Secker, in Elisabeth Jaquette’s translation, in 2019.
The central theme of “K.” is much stronger than most literature coming from the Gulf.
Is there ‘Too Much Balance’ in the International Prize for Arabic Fiction? Where Authors Are from, Year by Year
CORRECTION: The 2008 longlist is not on the International Prize for Arabic Fiction website (English, Arabic) and was, I’m told, sent to journalists after the shortlist was released in 2008.
However, a journalist-novelist has now sent along a copy of the 2008 longlist.
“Today, the headlines of the parallel dimension from which I write are overflowing with the news that IPAF has longlisted Djamila Morani’s gripping novella ‘Tuffa7 al-djinn’ (‘The Djinn’s Apple’).”
“At least one of the novels, Shahad al-Rawi’s ‘Baghdad Clock,’ has already been translated into English, by Luke Leafgren. It’s set for an April release from OneWorld.”
“Only one book by a Yemeni author was submitted this year, and none of the submitted titles were written by authors from Bahrain, Djibouti, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Qatar, or the UAE.”
This year’s participating writers, according to IPAF organizers, range in age from 26 to 40 and come from six different countries: Oman, Sudan, UAE, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine.
“There are only three non-Omani writers: Egyptian Mohammed Abdel Qahar, Moroccan Mohsen Akhrif, and Tunisian Nabil Gueddiche.”