International fiction prize spreads the word about Arabic literature

Whoever steps forward to collect this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Ipaf) at the Hilton Grand Capital Hotel tomorrow night will be gaining a lot more than simply a first prize of US$50,000 (Dh184,000).

Seven years after it was launched in Abu Dhabi, the leading literary prize for the novel in the Arab world has brought recognition and reward to the winners on a global scale.

The prize “has been a successful journey”, says Jonathan Taylor, the chairman of Ipaf, which is funded by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and supported by the Booker Prize Foundation. “It is the most important prize in Arabic literature in terms of recognition, reward and readership to leading, very good writers in Arabic.”

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