ABU DHABI — The finalists for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2010, a prestigious literary award for contemporary Arabic fiction was announced on Tuesday at the Beirut International Book Fair in Lebanon.
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on March 2, 2010, the first day of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
According to Taleb Alrefai, chair of judges for the 2010 prize, the six finalists include Muhammad Al Mansi Qindeel (Egypt) for his book A Cloudy Day on the West Side, Mansoura Ez Eldin (Egypt) for Beyond Paradise, Rabee Jabir (Lebanon) for America, Abdo Khal (Saudi Arabia) for She Throws Sparks, Rabai’ Madhoun (Palestine) for The Lady from Tel Aviv and Jamal Naji (Jordan) for When the Wolves Grow Old.
The panel of judges were experts from Kuwait, Egypt, Tunisia, France and Oman in the field of Arabic literature
The prestigious literary prize, now in its third year, aims to recognise and reward excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and to encourage wider readership of such Arabic literature internationally through translation. It is run with the support of the Emirates Foundation and the Booker Prize
The 2010 prize received 115 eligible submissions from 17 Arab countries which include Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia
The shortlisted finalists each receive $10,000 as prize money, with the winner receiving an additional $50,000. The authors can look forward to reaching wider audiences and potentially securing publishing deals for their books both in the Arab world and internationally.
Previous two winners for the prize — Bahaa Taher (Sunset Oasis) and Youssef Ziedan (Azazel) — have not only secured English publications of their novels in the UK, through Sceptre (Hodder and Stoughton) and Atlantic Books respectively, but also a number of international deals as a result of the prize.