Arabic Literature (In English) is doing an excellent run down on the candidates for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Arabic Booker). If you are interested in some of the better writers in Arabic, you should check the list out and the many postings of author bios. You can find the long list here and a partial list of profiles here.
As predicted, this year’sInternational Prize for Arabic Fiction (“Arabic Booker”)longlist has more women than in previous years. This year’s longlist is nearly 50-50, with 7 women and 9 men.
Total entries this year were up slightly (123), with the most coming—as in past years—from populous and pen-filled Egypt.
Egyptians on the longlist include my friend Khaled al-Berry (yay, Khaled!), Naguib Mahfouz medal-winning Khairy Shalaby (whose Time Travels of the Man Who Sold Pickles and Sweets is just now out in English), and the excellent Miral al-Tahawy, who Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah once told me is “the next big thing.” (Or something like that. Don’t consider that a quote.)