The winner of the International Prize for Arabic Literature, known as the Arabic Booker, will be announced sometime today (Monday 14th March) in Abu Dhabi. The 2011 fourth round of the Booker will be attended by all the short-listed authors and their publishers and the committee will publish selected parts from all six shortlisted novels, which will also be translated into English.
The committee of judges for this round includes the Iraqi critic, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, the Bahraini researcher and critic Munira al-Fadhel, with the Moroccan writer and critic Said Yaktine.
The shortlist includes Moroccans Bensalem Himmich for "My Tormentor" and Mohammed Achaari for his book of poetry “The Arch and the Butterfly", Saudi writer Raja Alem for “The Doves’ Necklace”, Egyptians Khalid Al-Bari for “An Oriental Dance” and Miral El-Tahawy for “Brooklyn Heights” and finally, Amir Taj Al-Sir from Sudan for “The Hunter of the Chrysalises”.
Of all the nominated works, “The Hunter of the Chrysalises” seems to have the best chance of winning, bearing in mind the difficulty for an Egyptian winner. There were two Egyptian winners in the first and second round, Bahaa Taher and Youssef Zeidan, so Miral El-Tahawy and Kahlid Al-Bari’s chances are low.