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Ibrahim Nasrallah’s dystopian novel wins International Prize for Arabic Fiction

By April 25, 2018No Comments

Source : Times of India

Former refugee Ibrahim Nasrallah wins the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his dystopian novelThe Second War of the Dog.
Also referred to as the ‘Arabic Booker’, the International Prize for Arabic Fiction aims to “reward excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and to encourage the readership of high quality Arabic literature internationally through the translation and publication of winning and shortlisted novels in other major languages.”


The winner is awarded $50,000 USD and the shortlisted authors receive $10,000 USD each. The winning book’s cost of translation (into English) will be met and the IPAF also actively encourages the translation of all shortlisted novels into other languages.

The Second War of the Dog follows Rashid, a corrupt man, who goes from an opponent of the regime to an extremist in a dystopian world. The book shows the greedy savage instincts of man and the ugly reality our society is heading to. It was chosen as the best work of fiction published between July 2016 and June 2017 from 124 entries from 14 countries by the judges.

Al Saafin, the chair of judges, described Nasrallah’s winning novel as “a masterful vision of a dystopian future in a nameless country, using fantasy and science fiction techniques.”

“With humour and insight, it exposes the tendency towards brutality inherent in society, imagining a time where human and moral values have been discarded and anything is permissible, even the buying and selling of human souls,” he said in a statement.

Professor Yasir Suleiman, chair of the board of IPAF trustees, added, “Ibrahim Nasrallah’s novel paints a chilling picture of humanity in all its destructive potential. Without a moral compass, the protagonist lets go of the normal bounds that constrain human behaviour.

“Nasrallah expertly draws the reader into this world from different vantage points, using crass language in which humour makes the moral burden of relating to the main character ‘bearable’, or just so.”

 Ibrahim Nasrallah was born to Palestinian parents and spent his childhood and youth in the Alwehdat Palestinian Refugee Camp in Amman, Jordan. He began his working life as a teacher in Saudi Arabia.
The others on the shortlist were Sudanese author Amir Tag Elsir’s Flowers in Flames; Saudi novelist Aziz Mohammed’s The Critical Case of “K”; Iraqi author Shahad al-Rawi’s Baghdad Clock; Palestinian writer Walid Shurafa’s Heir of the Tombstones; and Syrian writer Dima Wannous’s The Frightened Ones.


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