By Edward Nawotka
The shortlist for the $60,000 International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2010 (IPAF) — better known colloquially as “The Arabic Booker” — was as announced on Tuesday at the Beirut International Book Fair in Lebanon.
The shortlist of six represents submissions from five countries:
Egypt: A Cloudy Day on the West Side by Muhammad Al-Mansi Qindeel (Dar Al-Shorouk) and Beyond Paradise by Mansoura Ez Eldin (Dar Al-Ain, Egypt)
Lebannon: America by Rabee Jabir (Al-Markaz al-Thaqafi al-Arabi [Arab Cultural Centre])
Saudi Arabia: She Throws Sparks by Abdo Khal (Al-Jamal Publications)
Palestine: The Lady from Tel Aviv by Raba’i Madhoun (Arab Institute for Publishing and Studies)
Jordan: When the Wolves Grow Old by Jamal Naji (Ministry of Culture Publications)
The prize, now in its third year, honors works published in Arabic. The winner recieves $50,000, in addition to the $10,000 given to each shortlisted author.
Now in its third year, the IPAF has introduced a handful of new Arabic language writers to the West. The winner of the 2008 prize, Sunset Oasis by Egyptian novelist Bahaa Taher, has recently been published in the UK by Sceptre (an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton). Rights for the book have also been sold in France, Germany, Norway, Greece Romania, Bosnia and Canada.
Last year’s winner — Azazelby Egyptian writer Youssef Ziedan — will be published in the UK by Atlantic Books in spring 2010. Translation deals are also concluded for Italian, German, Greek, Romanian, Bosnian and Croatian