Breaking News! Fatima Sharafeddine’s فاتن Wins 2010 ‘Best Book’ Prize at Beirut Fair

The “Best Book” prizes are out at the 2010 Beirut Book Fair, and Fatima Sharafeddine’s first young-adult (YA) novel, فاتن, has very deservedly taken first prize for children’s literature.

The book follows a bright, ambitious, sensitive young girl—فاتن—as she is brought by her parents to Beirut for the first time and placed into service with a wealthy family. What happens to her and to the family’s elder girl, Dalia, form the center of the novel.

The novel is both a breakthrough for Sharafeddine, who had not previously written YA, and for the entire YA genre in Arabic. Sharafeddine’s book—along with two by Samah Idris, and another by him released at this year’s Beirut fair, فلافل النازحين—provides a model of simple, beautiful, straightforward prose, written in short sentences for easy and enjoyable digestion by adolescent readers.

Oh! And ألف مبروك، يا فاطمة. We all can’t wait for the next one!

More about the book:

On Fatima Sharafeddine’s website

More pictures (I hope Fatima and Kalimat don’t mind my theft of these!):


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5 Responses to Breaking News! Fatima Sharafeddine’s فاتن Wins 2010 ‘Best Book’ Prize at Beirut Fair

  1. Karima says:

    Thanks for the post; Arabic YA ! Yes ! could you tell us something about the two new Samah idris books ? (Did you ever find his Koosa series ? )

    • mlynxqualey says:

      I have Koosa, and we LOVE it. Just read one of them to the boys minutes ago.

      In fact, I think I picked up all his books, except for فلافل النازحين, the newest one (which is just being released now in Beirut). But I just picked them up at the Doha fair, so I haven’t had a chance to read his first two YA books, although Fatima recommends them, as does Zeyna al-Jabri, and I trust their opinions.

      I brought home again another 30-ish books from Doha, so it might take me a while to get through all of them sensibly.

      It’s so exciting to see Arabic YA, yes. I think فاتن also could appeal to adult readers who are looking to get back into Arabic but whose education was largely English or French.

      I imagine that, in the next few years, the amount of Arabic YA will easily quadruple, or more…

  2. Marcia
    Thank you for posting this, and for your positive comments.. What you do is really great.. By spreading words of deserving books for children and young adults, you guide parents and children into the right direction …

  3. Congratulations – well deserved! She’s a wonderful author and an amazing woman!

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