The 2016 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) has nominated three Egyptian novels for this year’s award. The longlist – consisting of 16 novels from a total of 159 entries submitted from 18 countries – was revealed in January and will be reduced to six on 9 February.
The Egyptian contributions include The Temple of Silken Fingers by Ibrahim Farghali, The Black Brigade by Mohamed Mansi Qandil and Mercury by Mohamed Rabie.
Other nominations are A Sky Close to Our House by Syrian Shahla Ujayli, Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba by Palestinian Rabai al-Madhoun, and Here by Kuwaiti Taleb Alrefai.
This year’s longlisted authors include several younger writers – three are under the age of 40 – and debut novelists, including Tareq Bakari and Abdennour Mezzine, both of whom are from Morocco.
The countries with the highest number of nominations for the longlist are Egypt and Palestine, which contributed three authors each.
This year’s Chair of Judges said the selection process for the longlist was an arduous task considering the “high quality of overall submissions,” which included both obscure and well-established names.
“A strong longlist has emerged, with many of the titles dealing with their subjects in fresh and unconventional ways and using experimental language. The books look at topical concerns from the Arab world – from daily life to larger political and social issues – and, between them, condemn violence, sectarianism (political, religious and tribal) and current dictatorships,” the Chair added.
IPAF is an annual literary prize supported by the London-based Booker Prize Foundation and funded by the TCA Abu Dhabi in the UAE. The award was instituted in 2007 “with the intention to address the limited international availability of high quality Arab fiction,” according to the IPAF website.
The full longlist can be viewed here.