"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 6 2020





Аuthor Victoria N. ZARYTOVSKAYA
PhD (Pedagogics), Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article is devoted to the results of the last session of the most notable annual event of literary life in the Arab world - International Prize for Arabic fiction (IPAF, or Arabian Booker). In addition to analyzing the 2020 winning novel «The Spartan Court» by Algerian author Abdelouaheb Aissaoui, which undoubted merit was his current humane character and well-used polyphony technique, the other five works of the finalists of this year, «The Tank» by AliyaMamdouh (Iraq), «Fardeqan: the Detention of Great Sheikh» by Youssef Zeidan (Egypt), «The King of India» Jabbour Douayhi (Lebanon), «The Russian Quarter» Khalil Alrez (Syria) and «Firewood of Sarajevo» by Said Khatibi (Algeria) are characterized by their originality. Each of them is considered in terms of innovation and significance for the modern literary process in the Arab world.

   Due to the fact that most of the works noted in the long and short lists of the Arabic Booker of different years are written on historical subjects (they are as well mentioned in the article), the question is raised about the reasons for the dominance of the historical genre in the Arabic verbal culture as a whole. Despite the fact that the writers of the Arab world do not stop experimenting with the word, responding to new trends in world literature and mastering experimental methods, the novels created all the same within the framework of the traditional historical genre are more often popular and recognized by critics, no matter how different they are from their predecessors.

   There are foundations for the relevance of the historical genre of Arabic literature - the genesis of history and literature and their close ties, the complex and grandiose history of the Arab countries that determines the life of the Middle East untill this day.

Keywords: International Booker, Arabic Literature, historical genre, Abdelouaheb Aissaoui, «The Spartan Court»
Pages 74-77