Celebrated Jordanian-Palestinian poet and novelist, Ibrahim Nasrallah has been shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) for his latest novel The Second War of the Dog.
‘I was really happy,’ Nasrallah told The Arab Edition about being shortlisted for the esteemed literary prize, ‘because the prize is important and also because the novel is different.’
Nasrallah has previously published 14 books of poetry, 13 novels and two children’s books. His novel The Time of White Horses was also shortlisted for the IPAF in 2009 and Lanterns of the King of Galilee in 2013.
Known for his epic family sagas, seeped in Arab history, The Second War of the Dog takes readers into previously uncharted territory by Nasrallah.
‘The novel takes place in the future and speaks of a harsh life in which people are living under the shadow of violence, greed and the lust for control,’ Nasrallah says, ‘it speaks of the collapse of nature and of human civilization.’
The Second War of the Dog sees our anti-hero protagonist within a fantasy sci-fi setting. Acting as an opponent to an oppressing regime that cherishes power we see him transform into to an extremist. Parallels are obvious in the novel to what the Arab world has witnessed from social and political unrest over the last few years.
‘I was definitely influenced,’ Nasrallah says, ‘the bloody reality that we have witnessed and lived in for last few years has left a large impact on me. This was the exact reason that I wrote this novel.’
The Arab Edition spoke with the prolific author about his third nomination for the IPAF, the process of writing and why readers are intrigued by the anti-hero.