31: This Takes the Prize
MLQ is back from Abu Dhabi, and we talk about the recently awarded International Prize for Arabic Fiction — and an unfortunate controversy this year, involving leaks, no-shows, and calls for prosecution — and the book fair. We also share excerpts from the winning book and from several of the short-listed ones.
The International Prize for Arabic Fiction announced the prize’s 2019 winner, Hoda Barakat’s The Night Post, on April 23. The name of the winner, and a few apparent details about the judging process, was leaked by former IPAF judge Abdo Wazen in Independent Arabia a few hours before the official announcement.
The prize’s official statement about the leak can be found on their website. Also notable are Arab Writers Union head Habib al-Sayegh’s comments about the leak, Hoda Barakat’s acceptance speech, and shortlisted writer Kafa Al-Zou’bi’s social-media habits.