The American University in Cairo Press, has revealed a shortlist for the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, for the first time since the award was established.
The six shortlisted titles were chosen from 270 novels submitted from across the Arab world and diaspora. The winner of the medal will be announced in March 2021.
The shortlisted novels are The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody, by Ahmed Taibaoui (Algeria); In The Dust Cities by Amal Radwan (Egypt); The Fort of Al-Zidi by Algarby Omran (Yemen); The Neighborhood of Wonder by Maha Hassan (Syria); The Stone in Khallaf’s House by Mohammad Aly Ibrahim (Egypt); and Kohl and Cardamom by Omar Taher (Egypt).
The jury members of this year’s Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature are Shereen Abouelnaga (Chair), Literary Critic and Professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University Humphrey Davies, Award-winning Translator of Arabic literature into English Thaer Deeb, Translator, Writer, and Critic; Samah Selim, Translator and Associate Professor of Arabic language and literature at Rutgers University in the US and Heba Sherif, Writer, Literary Critic, and Cultural Consultant.
The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature was established by the American University in Cairo Press in 1996 and is awarded to the best contemporary novel published in Arabic in the previous two years. The winning novel is selected by the five jury members who make up the Mahfouz Award Committee.
The award, recognized as a major contribution in support of contemporary Arabic literature in translation, consists of a cash prize of $5,000 as well as translation into English and publication under AUC Press’ fiction imprint Hoopoe.