Strong list of nominees for Sheikh Zayed Book Award
Three longlisted novels have won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, writes Saeed Saeed
Arange of award-winning writers are in the running for the 12th edition of Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
Among the 13 novels listed for the Literature prize, three have won the prestigious Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, while another three were nominated for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
The list contains three Egyptian authors, two from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria respectively, and writers from Lebanon, Mauritania, Tunisia and Jordan.
It is the second time Maysaloon Hadi has been nominated for the award, this time for her new work Jano, ante hekayati (Jano, You are My Story). The Iraqi author was shortlisted in 2012 for The Tea of the Bride, although the award was withheld by organisers that year, citing a lack of works warranting the prestigious prize.
Lebanese author Hassan Daoud continues a career purple patch. The longlisted
Fi ‘ithr ghayamah (Tracing A Cloud) comes on the back of his acclaimed and English translated novel No Road to
Paradise, which won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal in 2015.
Other medal winners longlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award include Syrian Khalil Sweileh for Remorse Test and Egypt’s Ezzat El Kamhawi for At Least We’re Together.
When it comes to former IPAF nominees included in the Sheikh Zayed Book Award longlist, Syrian-French novelist Maha Hassan with Metro
Halab (Aleppo Metro) is joined by Saudi Arabia’s Maqbul Al Alawi for Al Badawi Al Sagheer (The Young Bedouin) and Egypt’s Ibrahim Eissa for Rehlat Al Damm (The Blood Journey).
The titles were chosen from 337 nominations across the Mena region. In total, the award’s reading panel has assessed 1,250 nominated works across nine categories, including Young Author, Translation, Children’s Literature and Arabic Culture in Other Languages.
The shortlist will be announced around March next year and will be handed out at a ceremony to coincide with the 2018 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which will run from April 25 to May 1 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The winner of Cultural Personality of the Year, for contributions to the advancement of Arabic culture, will receive Dh1 million, a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, and a certificate of merit. Each of the winners in the other eight categories will receive Dh750,000, a gold medal and a certificate of merit.
Writers in the running for the award originate from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Mauritania, Tunisia and Jordan