Preparing for the 2019 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature
The jury members of this year’s Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature are Ibrahim Nasrallah, acclaimed writer, novelist, and literary critic; Hebba Sherif, writer, literary critic, and cultural consultant; Samah Selim, translator and associate professor of Arabic language and literature at Rutgers University in the US; Shereen Abouelnaga, literary critic and professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University; and Humphrey Davies, award-winning translator of Arabic literature into English.
The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, established by the American University in Cairo Press in 1996, is awarded to the best contemporary novel published in Arabic in the last two years. It is selected every fall by the five jury members that make up the Mahfouz Award Committee.
This year, on September 16, for the first time since the award was established, the committee will announce a shortlist for the prize, which will be awarded in December.
The award, recognized as a major contribution in support of contemporary Arabic literature in translation, consists of a silver medal and a cash prize of $3,000, as well as translation and publication by AUC Press’s fiction imprint Hoopoe. Every year, the award ceremony draws writers and distinguished personalities of Egyptian cultural life.
The 25 winners of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature since its inauguration include 11 women and 14 men; 12 Egyptians (2 posthumously), 3 Palestinians, 1 Algerian, 2 Lebanese, 1 Moroccan, 2 Syrians, 1 Iraqi, 1 Sudanese, and 1 Saudi Arabian.
The 2018 Mahfouz Medal went to Saudi Arabian writer Omaima Al-Khamis for her novel Masra al-gharaniq fi mudun al-‘aqiq (Voyage of the Cranes in the Cities of Agate).
AUC Press has been the primary publisher of Naguib Mahfouz’s English-language editions for more than thirty years, and has also been responsible for the publication of some 600 foreign-language editions of the Nobel laureate’s works in more than 40 languages around the world since the author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. With some 50 new publications annually and more than 800 titles in print, AUC Press is recognized as the region’s leading English-language publisher.
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