Seven women shortlisted for top award in Arab fiction

December 14, 2010

Seven women are among the 16 contenders shortlisted for the International Prize for the Arabic Fiction 2011 (Ipaf), one of the most important literary events in the Arab world.

The shortlisted candidates were announced by the award’s panel of judges during an event held at the central library of the Qatar Foundation (QF) in Doha. The panel whittled down the list to 16 from a total of 23 entries from 17 countries across the Arab world.

However, the list also included an entry from Afghanistan for the first time in the history of the award, Qatari daily Qatar Tribune reported. The highest number of submissions came from Egypt.

“This is an objective-neutral international award,” Jonathan Taylor, the award’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said.

“The real value of each novel is the sole fact adopted by the panel in selecting the contenders. There is no discrimination either against ethnicity or gender.”

He said female writers submitted 29 per cent of the works, compared with 16 per cent of the female works submitted last year.

The panel consists of 40 judges from Iraq, Bahrain, Italy, Jordan and Morocco.

The 2011 shortlisted novels included The Arch and the Butterfly by Mohammad Al Achaari, The Dove’s Necklace by Raja Alem, The Hunter of the Chrysalises by Amir Taj Al Sir, My Tormentor by Ben Salem Himmich, Brooklyn Heights by Miral Al Tahawy and An Oriental Dance by Khalid Al Bari.

The international prize for Arabic fiction is awarded for prose fiction in Arabic and each of the six shortlisted finalists receives $10,000 (Dh36,729).

The winner gets an additional $50,000.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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