UAE: International Prize for Arabic Fiction announces youngest-ever winner

Mohamed Alnaas is also the first Libyan winner with his book 'Bread on Uncle Milad's Table'



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 22 May 2022, 8:52 PM

Bread on Uncle Milad's Table by Libyan debut novelist Mohamed Alnaas was announced on Sunday as the winner of the 2022 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

At 31, Alnaas is the youngest writer to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the first Libyan. Bread on Uncle Milad's Table was published with support from the Libyan Arete Foundation.

In addition to being awarded $50,000, funding will be provided to translate the book into English.

It was chosen from a shortlist of six novels by authors from Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman and, for the first time, the UAE. The shortlisted finalists — Khalid Al-Nassrallah, Tareq Imam, Reem al-Kamali, Bushra Khalfan and Mohsine Loukili — will each receive $10,000.

The novel was named this year's winner by Chair of Judges Shukri Mabkhout during a ceremony in Abu Dhabi that was also streamed online.

Mabkhout said: "The winning novel is written in the form of confessions of personal experience. Its plethora of detail is deftly unified by a gripping narrative."

Professor Yasir Suleiman, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: "The language of the novel is an excellent testimony to the malleability of the high register of the Arabic language and its ability to deal with intimate matters of the body and soul with naturalness and ease. Sometimes wistful, but always lyrical the narrative succeeds in evoking a conflicted cultural fabric that fuses time with place in a Libyan milieu that speaks to and for Arabs everywhere."

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Bread on Uncle Milad's Table is a story based in Libya, and questions static ideas of gender and champions the individual in the face of destructive ideas adopted by the majority.

Mohamed Alnaas is a short story writer and journalist from Libya, born in 1991. Bread on Uncle Milad's Table is his first novel, and he wrote it in just six months during lockdown and whilst Tripoli was under bombardment.


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