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The 13th International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), known as the Arabic Booker, has announced its shortlist for 2020, which features six works:   Firewood of Sarajevo, by the Algerian Said Khatibi; The King of India, by the Lebanese Jabbour Douaihy; The Russian Quarter, by the Syrian Khalil Alrez; Fardeqan, by the Egyptian Youssef Ziedan; The Tank, by the Iraq Alia Mamdouh; andthe Spartan Court, by the Algerian Abdelouahab Aissaoui.

The six novels, selected from among the 16-novel long list, were published in Arabic between June 2018 and July 2019. The shortlisted nominees are now competing to win the grand prize of $ 50,000, while each of the shortlisted authors will receive $10,000.  The winning novel will be announced on April 14, 2020, ahead the opening of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

Chair of the 2020 judging panel, the Iraqi critic Muhsin Al-Musawi said “The novels we have chosen include a superior collection of diverse texts in terms of style and content. They have escaped the grip of traditionalism which often accompanies the writing of fiction. Nearly most of them highlights the oppressive effect of history, past and present, but without going deeply in retelling this history or current reality. Rather, they confront it in all its harshness to inspire in the reader questions about the destiny of the Arabic individual.”