Three novelists and a poet from Egypt have been longlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award under the Literature category.
Between the likes of Naguib Mahfouz, Taha Hussein, Latia Al-Zayyat and Ehsan Abdel Koddous, Egypt's literary pedigree is hard to deny. But just as important as recognising our literary background is giving a platform to our current generation of authors. Three Egyptian novelists and one poet have been longlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award under the Literature category, making up a third of a 12-author list. The 12-longlisted works were selected out of 854 submissions from throughout the Arab region.
The Egyptian writers who’ve made the list are Ezzat El-Kamhawi for his novel 'Ghorfat El-Mosafreen' (The Passenger Hall), Iman Mersal for her novel 'Fee Athar Enayat Al-Zayyat' (In The Footsteps of Enayar Al-Zayyat), Mohammed El-Mansi Qandeel for his novel 'Tabeeb Aryaf' (Countryside Doctor), and Ahmed Al-Shahawi for his poetic work 'Ma Ana Feeh' (What I’m Going Through).
Some of the regional literary names joining them include Lebanese author Alawiya Sobh with her novel 'An Taashaq Al-Hayat', Kuwaiti writer Najma Idris’ 'Hadaeqohon Al-Moaalqah' (Their Hanging Gardens) and Saudi Arabian poet Mohammed Ibrahim Yaghob’s 'Maqam Nesyan' (The Shrine of Forgetfulness).
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is an annual award honouring talented writers, thinkers, critics and publishers, as well as up-and-coming writers and translators whose works enhance the Arab intellectual, literary and social fields. The shortlist for this year's Literature category will be announced in February 2021, with the winner announced shortly afterwards.