The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Arabic Booker) announced today, Tuesday 7 January, its longlist of 16 novels in contention for the 2014 prize, featuring works by Egyptian authors Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid, Ahmed Mourad and Ashraf El-Khamaisi.
The 16 novels were chosen among 156 entries, all published within the last 12 months, from 18 countries.
The longlisted authors of 2014 chiefly hail from Morocco, Iraq and Egypt, among a total of nine countries. A Kuwaiti writer makes the list for the second time in 2014, following Saud Al-Sanousi’s success in 2013.
Five of the authors were previously nominated for the prize: Amir Tag Elsir was shortlisted in 2011 (The Grub Hunter), Inaam Kachachi (The American Granddaughter) in 2009 and Khaled Khalifa (In Praise of Hatred) in 2008, while Ibrahim Nasrallah was shortlisted (2009 – Time of White Horses) and longlisted (2013 – Lanterns of the King of Galilee). Waciny Laredj was longlisted twice, in 2011 and 2013 (The Andalucian House and Lolita’s Fingers respectively). Many of these writers have subsequently had their work published in English, as well as other languages.
Below is the full 2014 longlist, with authors' names in alphabetical order:
The books were selected by a panel of five judges, whose names will be announced in Amman, Jordan, on Monday 10 February 2014, at the same time as the 2014 shortlist.
The 2014 Chair of Judges comments on the longlist: ‘The longlisted titles are extremely varied, their diverse themes and styles reflecting the unquestionable richness of Arabic literature. Dominant themes include the socio-political problems currently experienced in many parts of the Arab world, especially the violence and displacement inflicted upon religious and ethnic minorities. Techniques and voices within the books range from the traditional narration characterised by an omniscient author to innovative techniques in style and narration, all of which breathes fresh life into the Arabic novel.’
This is the seventh year of the prize, recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction in the Arab world.
The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday 29 April, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The six shortlisted finalists will receive $10,000, with an additional $50,000 to the winner.