The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is an annual literary prize for prose fiction in Arabic, which is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction in the Arab world. It is run with the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London and funded by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) in the UAE.

Mohammed  Hasan Alwan, Najwa Binshatwan, Ismail Fahd Ismail, Elias Khoury, Mohammed Abdel Nabi and Saad Mohammed Rahim had on Thursday 16 February, been announced as the six authors shortlisted for the tenth International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF).

The 2017 shortlist, with author names in alphabetical order, is as follows:

1. Mohammed Hasan Alwan – A Small Death – Saudi Arabia (Dar Al Saqi)

2. Najwa Binshatwan – The Slaves’ Pens – Libya (Dar Al Saqi)

3. Ismail Fahd Ismail – Al-Sabiliat – Kuwait (Nova)

4. Elias Khoury – Children of the Ghetto – My Name is Adam – Lebanon (Dar al-Adab)

5. Mohammed Abdel Nabi – In the Spider’s Chamber – Egypt (Dar al-Ain)

6. Saad Mohammed Rahim – The Bookseller’s Murder – Iraq (Dar wa Maktabat Sutur)

This year’s six novels showcase the best in contemporary Arabic literature celebrating its rich heritage, while tackling untold stories and addressing topical issues.

The 2017 judging panel is made up of: Sahar Khalifeh (Chair), a Palestinian novelist; Saleh Almani, a Palestinian translator; Fatima al-Haji, a Libyan academic, novelist and broadcaster; Sahar ElMougy, an Egyptian novelist and academic; and Sophia Vasalou, a Greek academic and translator.

Sahar Khalifeh, the 2017 Chair of Judges, comments:

‘The six novels chosen from the huge number (186) submitted to the International Prize for Arabic Fiction stand out for their brilliant artistic structure, development of characters and treatment of socially sensitive and daring subject matter. Some of them explore taboo areas, while others put their fingers on the pulse of critical situations in the complex Arab world of today and celebrate highlights of Arab heritage.’

The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017 will be announced at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday 25 April 2017, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The six shortlisted finalists will receive $10,000, with a further $50,000 going to the winner.

May the best book win!!!