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IPAF: Hoda Barakat wins prestigious Arabic literature prize

The Lebanese writer Hoda Barakat was awarded the most important Arab literary prize on 23 April for her epistolary novel about the fate of refugees.

She was awarded the International Prize for Arabic Novel Literature (IPAF) for her novel "The Night Mail". Barakat is only the second Arab writer to receive this prestigious award in the past twelve years.

The novel tells the story of letter writers, said Jasir Sulaiman, chairman of the IPAF committee. "The letters are lost, like the people who wrote them." As in current times, the area of the novel is full of deep questions and ambiguity. Hoda Barakat was born in Beirut in 1952 and now lives in France.

Since 2008, the Arab Literature Prize has been awarded every year on the eve of the International Book Fair in Abu Dhabi. The winner receives prize money of 50,000 U.S. dollars (about 45,000 euros). The winning title is also translated into English. In this way, the prize aims to help raise international awareness of Arab literature.

The Literature Prize is funded by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and supported by the London Booker Prize Foundation.    (dpa)

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