Kuwaiti Abdel Wahab Al-Hamadi's "Don't Tell Your Nightmare" has been chosen on the longlist of 16 novels now a step closer to winning the 2015 prize announced on Monday by the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), referred to as Arab Booker.
Those selected were chosen from among 180 entries, all published over the last 12 months, Chair of IPAF Board of Trustees of the Professor Yasir Suleiman, said in a press statement.
The 2015 longlisted authors come from nine different countries, with the highest numbers from Lebanon and Egypt, with three authors apiece, he added.
Five women appear on the longlist, the highest number so far. 11 women have been longlisted for the Prize since 2009, the first year a longlist was released.
A number of this year's longlisted authors have appeared on previous IPAF longlists and shortlists. Two writers have been previously shortlisted: Jabbour Douaihy for The Vagrant (2012) and June Rain (2008) and Jana Elhassan for Me, She and the Other Women (2013), Suleiman said.
Amongst the authors previously longlisted are: Antoine Douaihy, The Bearer of the Purple Rose (2014); Maha Hassan, Umbilical Cord (2011), and Ashraf Al-Khamaisi, God's Land of Exile (2014). One of the longlisted authors, Mohammed Berrada, is a former judge of the Prize, having been on the panel in its inaugural year, 2008.
The books were selected by a five-judge panel, whose names will be announced in Casablanca, Morocco, on Friday 13 February 2015, at the same time as the 2015 shortlist and coinciding with the Casablanca International Book Fair.
This is the eighth year of the Prize, which is recognized as the leading prize for literary fiction in the Arab world.
The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2015 will be announced at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday 6 May, the eve of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. The six shortlisted finalists will receive USD 10,000, with a further USD 50,000 going to the winner.