January saw Four Colman Getty announce the longlist and judges for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017.
The 16 novels selected were chosen from 186 entries from 19 countries, all published within the last 12 months. Many of the longlisted authors are recognisable names with three having been shortlisted for the Prize previously – Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Sinan Antoon and Amir Tag Elsir – and a further five previously longlisted – Renée Hayek, Ismail Fahd Ismail, Abdul-Kareem Jouaity, Elias Khoury and Mohammed Abdel Nabi. Their repeated recognition by the Prize demonstrates the enduring quality of their writing.
This year’s judging panel includes Sahar Khalifa (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.
We worked in partnership with the team at Four Gulf to ensure the announcement was picked up in the UK and across the Arab world, with highlights including an interview with the Chair Sahar Khalifa on BBC Arabic and pieces in The National and Gulf News.
The 2017 IPAF shortlist will be announced at the Palace of Culture in Algiers, Algeria on Thursday 16 February, with the winner revealed at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday 25 April, 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.