"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.
"The driver went quiet for a while then asked, ‘Do you think there’ll be another war?’"
'Dog War II's' IPAF win "has gotten relatively wide coverage in the English press—certainly more than most IPAF winners hitherto—largely because its keywords hit so many hot-topic buttons, with ‘dystopia,’ ‘sci-fi,’ ‘extremism,’ and ‘Arab world’ emerging as the most popular thus far."
"Ibrahim Nasrallah’s novel paints a chilling picture of humanity in all its destructive potential."
"The winner of the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction is set to be announced at a ceremony at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi this evening."
The novel has been vibrantly and compellingly translated by Jonathan Wright, and is forthcoming from Hoopoe Fiction at the end of July.
"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.