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Nasrallah wins International Prize for Arabic Fiction

Jordanian-Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah has won the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for his novel The Second War of the Dog (Arab Scientific Publishers).

The Second War of the Dog follows the story of the corrupt main character Rashid, who begins as an opponent of the regime, but turns into an unscrupulous extremist.

Chair of judges Ibrahim Al Saafin called the winning novel ‘a masterful vision of a dystopian future in a nameless country, using fantasy and science fiction techniques’. ‘With humour and insight, it exposes the tendency towards brutality inherent in society, imagining a time where human and moral values have been discarded and anything is permissible, even the buying and selling of human souls,’ said Al Saafin.

Nasrallah, a former refugee, receives US$50,000 (A$ 66,050), as well as funding for the English translation of the novel. ‘The novel was written to provoke the reader, to worry the reader, to even, sometimes, make them breathless,’ said Nasrallah. ‘The Second War of the Dog is, in my opinion, a warning of what we could become in the future.’

Launched in 2007, the prize is awarded to a novel in Arabic that the judges consider to be the best of that year, and aims to encourage the readership of Arabic literature through the translation of winning and shortlisted novels. It is funded by the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi and supported by the Booker Prize Foundation.

For more information on the prize and the shortlisted works, see the IPAF website.


Category: International news