Kuwaiti writer and novelist, Saud Alsanousi has been announced as the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for his novel Saq Al-Bamboo (The Bamboo Stalk)
. The prize is worth $50,000. The announcement took place at the Rocco Forte Hotel in Abu Dhabi during the opening of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
This year's judging panel was headed by the Egyptian academic and writer Galal Amin, and included the Lebanese academic and critic Sobhi Al-Boustani; head of the Arab Cartoonists' Association, and owner and chief editor of the independent Syrian daily newspaper Al-Domari Ali Ferzat; professor of Arabic Literature at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow Barbara Michalak-Pikulska, and professor of Arabic literature at Manchester University Zahia Smail Salhi.
The shortlist, which was revealed on 9 January, included Iraqi Sinan Antoon, Lebanese Jana Elhassan, Saudi Mohammed Hassan Alwan, Egyptian Ibrahim Issa, Kuwaiti Saud Alsanousi and Tunisian Hussein Al-Wad.
The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is an annual literary prize run with the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London and funded by TCA Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
The prize was launched in Abu Dhabi in April 2007 with an intention to address the limited international availability of high quality Arab fiction. The shortlisted finalists each receive $10,000, and the winner an additional $50,000. Authors can look forward to increased book sales both within the Arab world and internationally through translation.
Although the prize is often referred to as the ‘Arabic Booker’, this is not instigated or endorsed at all by IPAF or the Booker Prize Foundation which are two completely separate, independent organisations, and IPAF is not in any way connected with the Man Booker Prize.