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Jordanian writer Jalal Barjas wins major Arabic literature prize

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Jordanian writer Jalal Barjas has won the most important Arabic literary prize with a novel about a schizophrenic newspaper salesman. He received the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for his work “Dafatir al Warrak” (“Notebooks of the Bookseller”), the jury announced on Tuesday. The novel is characterized by “rich, refined language and tight, thrilling plot,” the judges said, adding that Barjas manages “to strip the masks from the face of tragic reality.” Set in Jordan’s capital Amman, the novel focusses on a newspaper vendor who is forced out of the city centre. He then considers…

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