Aissaoui wins US$50k International Prize for Arabic Fiction
Algerian author Abdelouahab Aissaoui has won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for his novel The Spartan Court, which tells the story of the French campaign against Algiers in 1830 from five different perspectives.
Aissaoui receives US$50,000 (A$79,250) and funding for the English translation of The Spartan Court.
Chair of the judges Muhsin al-Musawi said The Spartan Court ‘stands out for its stylistic brilliance’.
‘It is polyphonic—with multiple voices telling the story,’ said al-Musawi. ‘Readers gain a multi-layered insight into the historical occupation of Algeria and, from this, the conflicts of the entire Mediterranean region, with characters embodying different interests and intersecting visions.’
Aissaoui is the first Algerian to win the award, which has been run for 13 years by the Booker Prize Foundation in London and is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi department of culture and tourism.