Organizers of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) today announced the winners -- in seven categories -- of their 14th annual prize.
According to organizers, a total of 1900 entries were subbed this year; 438 for the literature category, 498 for the young-author category, and 205 in children's literature.
The thirteen-book longlist -- made up of eleven novels and two poetry collections -- was chosen from among 438 nominated titles.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) today announced their roster of 2019 winners in five categories.
Among the shortlisted three books are Saudi novelist Amal al-Faran's acclaimed Diverse of the Empty Quarter and multi-award-winning Moroccan novelist (and former culture minister) Bensalem Himmich's memoir The Self: Between Existence and Creation.
The winner will take 750,000 dirhams, or around $204,000 US.
The longlist is made up of two poetry collections, a memoir by acclaimed Moroccan author Bensalem Himmich, and ten novels.
"The novel portrays an inward view of the Syrian Civil War tragedy; the author takes the reader on a trip around Damascus, trudging down the memory lanes and presenting the psychological conflicts amid the shattered reality of place and society – marking an important addition to the Syrian Literature, with a unique use of narrative tools and vocabulary construction."
"One longlisted work, Dunya Mikhail's Fi Souq al-Sabaya, is already set to appear in English translation in March 2018 from New Directions, as The Beekeeper."
He’s an architect who lost his faith in art and himself after the 1992 earthquake, which sparked a crisis on both personal and professional levels. This may explain the novel’s loose and fragile structure, parallel to the loose and fragile buildings destroyed by the quake.
The twelve longlisted titles were chosen from among a massive 274 nominations from 29 countries.
They are "Incense from Aden," (2014) by Yemeni novelist Ali Al-Muqri; "The She-wolf of Love and Books," (2015), by Iraqi novelist Muhsin al-Ramli; and "Beyond Writing," (2014), by Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid.