Today, Friday 13th is a lucky day. Atef Abu Saif, editor of The Book of Gaza and author of Comma’s upcoming book The Drone Eats With Me, has been shortlisted for the 2015 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his novel A Suspended Life. The news comes via a press conference in Casablanca where the judging panel is chaired by award-winning Palestinian poet and writer, Mourid Barghouti. Here, at the Royal Mansour Hotel, in partnershup with the Moroccan Minestry of Culture and the Casablanca International Book Fair, Atef has been shortlisted for this prestigious award, along with five other authors.
In alphabetical order of author, the shortlisted selection are:
Title: A Suspended Life – Author: Atef Abu Saif – Country of Origin: Palestine – Publisher – Al-Ahlia
Title: Floor 99 – Author: Jana Elhassan – Country of Origin: Lebanon – Publisher: Difaf Publications
Title: Diamonds and Women – Author: Lina Huyan Elhassan – Country of Origin: Syria – Publisher: Dar Tanweer, Tunis
Title: Willow Alley – Author: Ahmed al-Madeeni – Country of Origin: Morocco – Publisher: Al-Markez al-Thaqafi al-Arabi
Title: The Longing of the Dervish – Author: Hammour Ziada – Country of Origin: Sudan – Publisher: Dar al-Ain
The previously anonymous 2015 judges are: Mourid Barghouti (Chair), an award-winning Palestinian poet and writer; Ayman A. El-Desouky, an Egyptian academic; Parween Habib, a Bahraini poet, critic, and media expert; Najim A. Kadhim, an Iraqi critic and academic; and Kaoru Yamamoto, a Japanese academic, translator and researcher.