Sheikh Zayed Book Award announces 2023 shortlists celebrating outstanding authors, academics and organisations engaged in Arabic literature and culture
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA), one of the leading literary prizes for the Arab world, has announced the shortlists for its 17th edition. Among the finalists for six prizes are internationally acclaimed authors including Lebanese novelist Alawiya Sobh, Iraqi novelist Shahad al Rawi, German Arabist Beatrice Gründle, and Egyptian author Reem Bassiouney.
This year the Award received a record-breaking 3,151 submissions, with the Young Author prize category attracting 30% of submissions followed by 22% for the Literature category. All shortlisted titles in these two categories are eligible for the SZBA Translation Grant, which provides funding for international publishers to translate, publish and promote outstanding Arabic literature.
The 2023 Young Author shortlist comprises three works of captivating fiction: Over the Republic Bridge by Iraqi author Shahad al Rawi presents a family saga chronicling the effects of the 2003 American invasion of Iraq across three generations; Dirt and Stars by Egyptian writer Ahmed Lofti is a collection of stories which imagines tales of the Arabian Peninsula before Islam; and The End of the Desert by Algerian novelist Said Khatibi depicts the long-lasting effects of the Algerian War over future generations.
The Literature shortlist includes Alawiya Sobh, shortlisted by SZBA for the second time with her novel Rejoice, O My Heart, which tells the story of a young musician who travels to New York to escape a family tragedy and finds love; Egyptian author Reem Bassiouney, shortlisted for her historical novel Al-Qata’i’ – The Ibn Tulun Trilogy; and Iraqi poet and literary critic Ali Ja’far al-Allaq, shortlisted for his intimate and autobiographical poetic work “Whereto O Poem?” An Autobiography.
The annual Award is organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre under the auspices of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.
The full set of 2023 SZBA shortlists, including for the Literary and Art Criticism, Translation, Arabic Culture in Other Languages, and Publishing and Technology prize categories can be found HERE.