How was I to deal with this strange neighbor who, it seemed, was going to take my most precious possession: my solitude?
My darling mother, I write to you from the airport before they can take me, before I go through the security barrier.
The photos were a part of the text, and I did not describe them. They give artistic touches so that the reader can feel their ache and circumstances. It is enough to tell you that this novel could not have been published if I had not found a good picture of Hassan Fouad’s “We Defend the Constitution” poster. The discovery of this old, forgotten poster deserves a whole novel.
"In fiction, the Algerian Jewish woman and man still await the main role."
"I learned to read and write late. I grew up in Saudi Arabia—which is where we migrated because of the war in Eritrea—without official papers, so I couldn’t find a school to accept me, despite all the efforts of my mother, who went around to the schools in Jeddah to no avail."
She was among the first woman broadcasters in the early days of Lebanese TV and presented the “Women of Today” program.
This year, half the writers were from GCC countries (Emirates, Oman, Kuwait), and half from the rest of the region (Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Morocco).
"The International Prize for Arabic Fiction’s tardy acknowledgment is better late than never."
"My decision to write about that relationship was based in my conviction that Algerian Jews were an integral part of social, historical, and cultural elements; they spoke the same languages (Algerian, in Arabic or Amazigh dialects). They wore the same traditional clothing. They prepared the same foods. And they shared what was made. They played the same music. They sang the same songs. Only the two religions were different."
The prize -- which has been criticized both for under-representing and over-representing women authors -- centered these women's narratives in its January 7 announcement.
The longlist will be chosen from "134 submissions which have all been published between July 2017 and June 2018," according to organizers.
The book features short excerpts from all six of the novels, with an introduction written by the chair of judges, Ibrahim al-Saafin.