It’s an exciting day for world literature, as short lists for both the Man Asian Literary Prize and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction were announced today. The judges’ selections include novels from Tunisia, Malaysia, Iraq and Pakistan.
According to the Man Asian Literary Prize website, this year’s short list, winnowed from a pool of 15, “champions a debut novelist alongside a Nobel laureate, translated work as well as original writing in English, and includes smaller regional publishers as well as larger international houses.”
The five short-listed novels are:
Between Clay and Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqi (Pakistan)
The Briefcase by Hiromi Kawakami (Japan)
Silent House by Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Malaysia)
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil (India)
Visit the Man Asian Literary Prize website for descriptions of each novel.
The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is sponsored by the Booker Prize Foundation and 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.”
A long list of 16 was announced in December. The six novels chosen for the short list are:
Ave Maria by Sinan Antoon (Iraq)
I, She and Other Women by Jana Elhassan (Lebanon)
The Beaver by Mohammed Hassan Alwan (Saudi Arabia)
Our Master by Ibrahim Issa (Egypt)
The Bamboo Stick by Saud Alsanousi (Kuwait)
His Excellency the Minister by Hussein Al-Wad (Tunisia)
You’ll find descriptions of each book on the International Prize for Arabic Fiction website.
Winners will be announced on March 14 and April 23 respectively.
I already have The Garden of the Evening Mists on my nightstand, and I’m looking forward to reading more from both of these lists.
How about you? Which of these honored books might make it onto your reading list this year?