Said Khatibi’s detective novel نهاية الصحراء (End of the Sahara) is set in a remote desert city in Algeria in the Fall of 1988, when the country’s October Riots are about to break out place. The book is one of the winners of this year’s Sheikh Zayed Book Award. Khatibi explained how his writing is also a way of exploring larger historical crimes.
This episode is produced in collaboration with the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is one of the Arab world’s most prestigious literary prizes, showcasing the stimulating and ambitious work of writers, translators, researchers, academics and publishers advancing Arab literature and culture around the globe.
Today’s guest, Said Khatibi, was awarded the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2023 in the category of Young Author, for his novel نهاية الصحراء, or “The End of the Sahara.” Khatibi is a writer and journalist who is based in Ljublana, Slovenia.
Khatibi’s 2018 novel Sarajevo Firewood was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2020, and he won the Katara Prize for his 2016 novel Forty Years Waiting for Isabel. His Sarajevo Firewood was translated by Paul Starkey and is available from Banipal Books.
Edith Maud Hull's 1919 novel The Sheik was adapted into a 1921 film of the same name starring Rudoph Valentino.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award Translation Grant is open all year round, with funding available for fiction titles that have won or been shortlisted for an award. Publishers outside the Arab world are eligible to apply - find out more on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award website at: zayedaward.ae
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