Kuwaiti writer wins ‘Arabic Booker Prize’
25 April 2013
Kuwaiti writer Saud Al Sanousi was crowned the 2013 winner of International Prize of Arabic Fiction (IPAF) — also known as the Arabic Booker Prize — and walked away with $60,000.
The awards were announced on Tuesday night in Abu Dhabi from a list of six finalists, who each received $10,000. As the overall winner, Al Sanousi walked away with an extra $50,000, as well as the prestigious title.
His book, The Bamboo Stalk, was declared by the judges as “a daring work which looks objectively at the phenomenon of foreign workers in Gulf countries”.
Skillfully constructed, The Bamboo Stalk is a story of great strength and depth which questions identity in modern society.
Born in 1981, Al Sanousi is the youngest writer to win the Prize. The Bamboo Stalk is his second novel; his first, Prisoner of Mirrors, was published in 2010.His book has been chosen as the best work of fiction from the last 12 months, selected from 133 submissions from across the Arab World. On behalf of the 2013 judging panel, Egyptian writer and academic Galal Amin commented on the winning novel:
‘‘The members of the judging panel are delighted that The Bamboo Stalk has won the Prize. All the Judges agreed on the superior quality of this novel, both artistically and also in terms of its social and humanitarian content.”
Al Sanousi joined the ADIBF on Wednesday night, where he spoke about his novel, which will be translated in English later this year. The other finalists were Iraqi Sinan Antoon for Hail Mary, Tunisian Hussein Al Wad for His Excellency the Minister, Lebanese author Jana El Hassan for Me, She and the Other Women, Saudi Mohammed Hasan Al Wan for The Beaver and Egyptian Ibrahim Issa for Our Master.