Prize Winning Novel Banned!

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF, also known as the “Arabic Booker”) was awarded to Shukri al-Mabkhout, a Tunisian university administrator, for his debut novel entitled The Italian.  The prize: $50,000 was awarded in a ceremony in Abu Dhabi last month shortly after his publishers learned from an Abu Dhabi bookshop that the novel was banned from bookshops across the Emirates.  How’s that for irony?

The novel is set in Tunisia during the somewhat turbulent time and transitions between Habib Bourguiba’s 30-year rule (1957-1987) and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s 24 years in power (1987-2011) and follows the central character’s political and romantic adventures while at the same time taking a critical eye to life in Tunisia under two separate dictatorships.

The Italian was the the eighth prize awarded.  Past prize winners included:


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2 Responses to “Prize Winning Novel Banned!”

  1. Janice Stanford Says:

    Do we have any of these books in our library? I’d love to check them out.

  2. Tom Rink Says:

    Janice, no, the NSU Libraries do not have any of these titles (yet), but I have added them to my wish list. Thanks.

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