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Six Novels Compete over IPAF ‘Arab Booker’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Visitors walk in a labyrinth installation made up of 250,000 books titled “aMAZEme” by Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo at the Royal Festival Hall in central London July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Dammam – The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), announced on Thursday the shortlist for the 2017 prize, which includes six novels from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Egypt.

The list consists of Kuwaiti Ismail Fahd Ismail, for Al-Sabiliat, Libyan Najwa Binshatwan, for The Slaves’ Pens, Lebanese Elias Khoury, for Children of the Ghetto – My Name is Adam, Iraqi Saad Mohammed Rahim for The Bookseller’s Murder, Egyptian Mohammed Abdel-Naby, for In the Spider’s Chamber and Saudi Mohammed Hasan Alwan, for A Small Death.

The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017 will be announced at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The six shortlisted finalists will receive $10,000, with a further $50,000 going to the winner.

The novels selected were chosen from 186 entries from 19 countries, all published between July 2015 and June 2016.

IPAF said in a press release that this year’s six novels showcase the best in contemporary Arabic literature, celebrating its rich heritage while tackling untold stories and addressing the crises in the Arab world.

Al-Sabiliat focuses on a woman in Iraq who defies the tough conditions involved in the longest war in the 20th century between Iraq and Iran. The Slaves’ Pens uncovers the history of slavery in Libya.

Children of the Ghetto – My Name is Adam is the story of Adam, the Palestinian who immigrated to New York. The Bookseller’s Murder reveals the artistic, cultured and human dimension of Iraqi civilization, in the face of destruction following the American occupation.

A Small Death sees the historical and spiritual adventures of Sufi thinker Ibn Arabi brought vividly to life in fiction.