Egyptian writer Adel Esmat wins 2016 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

Mohammed Saad , Wednesday 14 Dec 2016

Esmat's win sees the prize return to an Egyptian after three years of going to non-Egyptian novelists

Egyptian writer Adel Esmat has won this year's Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for his novel Hekayat Yusuf Tadros (Tales of Yusuf Tadros).

The announcement was made at a prize ceremony at the American University in Cairo.

Esmat's win sees the award return to an Egyptian writer after three years of the award going to non-Egyptian novelists.

The prize is awarded annually on 11 December, Mahfouz's birthday, and consists of a silver medal, a cash prize of $1,000, and an English translation and publication of the winning novel by AUC Press.

Novels are eligible if they are published in Arabic but do not yet have an English translation.

The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature is sponsored by AUC Press, the publisher of some 50 Naguib Mahfouz English-language works.

The publisher carries around 200 titles of Arabic literature in translation in its catalogue.

Last year, the prize was awarded to Lebanese writer Hassan Daoud. In 2014, it was awarded to Sudanese novelist Hammor Zaida. And in 2013 it was awarded to renowned Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa.

In 2012, Egyptian writer Ezzat El-Kamhawi won the award.

In 2011 the prize was exceptionally awarded to "the revolutionary literary creativity of the Egyptian people during the popular uprising that began on 25 January.”

Among previous winners of the prize are Egyptian novelists Edwar El-Kharrat and Yusuf Idris, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, Latifa Al-Zayyat, and Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti.

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