The Detective Novel and Arabic Noir (in English with simultaneous translation into Arabic)

Key information

3:00 pm
Virtual on Zoom
Event type

About this event

With Said Khatibi

Dr Jonathan Smolin, Dartmouth College

Dr Pei-Cen Tsung, National Chengchi University

Young Author was awarded to Algerian author Said Khatibi for Nehayat Al Sahra’a (The End of the Desert), published by Hachette Antoine / Nofal in 2022, a work of crime fiction depicting the long-lasting effects of the Algerian War over future generations. The book stands out as a noteworthy addition to the scarce historical detective novels in modern Arabic literature that cater to younger readers.

Said Khatibi (Algeria) is a writer, journalist and translator, working and living in Slovenia since 2016. He has published several translations, including the translation of the poetry of Kateb Yacine, an anthology of Algerian short stories written in French and The Encyclopedia of African Cinema. He is author of four published novels: Kitāb al-khaṭāyā (The Book of Sins, 2013), Arbaʿūn ʿāman fī intiẓār Isābelle (Forty Years Waiting for Isabelle, 2016), Haṭab Sarajevo (Firewood of Sarajevo, 2018); and the SZBA winning novel Nihāyat al- ṣaḥrāʾ (The End of the Sahara, 2022). He also published a book about his travels, titled

Janāʾin al-sharq al-multahiba (The Inflamed Heavens of the East, 2015). Khatibi has been active as a cultural journalist since 2006 and runs a cultural column published every Saturday in al-Quds al-ʿArabī newspaper. In addition to winning the SZBA, he was previously awarded the Arab Journalism Award, the Ibn Battuta Prize for Travel Literature, and the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel, and has been shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF).

Sheikh Zayed Book Award 

2023 is another record-breaking year for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award. The annual prize received more than 3000 submissions from 60 countries this year, in a testament to its increasing importance and influence in the global network of Arabic literature and culture.

Known as the Arab World’s Nobel Prize, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award showcases outstanding contributions to Arabic literature, the humanities, science, and culture. The Award's nine prize categories, ranging from Children's Literature to Literary and Art Criticism, and its Translation Grant, moreover, showcase the dynamic fields of translation from and into Arabic, and of European and North American Arabic studies.

In its ambition to connect with wider academic audiences, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is this year organising two events in September and October in collaboration with SOAS, University of London, famous for its commitment to and its reach in the global south. Professor Wen-chin Ouyang, with her connections in North America, Europe and East Asia, will host and moderate the events, bringing to this series an additional multilingual and cross-regional flare.

The two events this year will showcase the challenges of writing creatively and publishing in Arabic. Interlocutors and guests include the prize winners and invited scholars and cultural works from around the world. All events will be bilingual (Arabic/English) and online.